Originally the plan was to add one company at a time for the 3D-graph. Nevertheless the series has to remain appealing and if it’s not, the approach should be adjusted. Previously we noticed that the Hydrogen companies looked rather similar: thick red “roofs”, indicating massive losses and the floor-shape of the buildings being close to square. Such a shape indicates that equity (width) is close to the total assets (depth), meaning there is hardly room for liabilities. This makes sense, because these companies are all very innovative and mainly R&D driven. No bank would lend them money because of the high risk, so all the money has to come from shareholders.
Looking ahead it seemed like this is really a feature of this Hydrogen driven market, so would it be wise to keep adding one company at a time? Then we still had the other issue (see Intermezzo), about screenshots of 3D-graphs being misleading. On the other hand the creation of an animated gif is quite laborious and in the end our purpose is to show people the real 3D-graph in their browser.
The jury’s verdict is clear: we will put all the remaining companies in to prevent boredom! All of them? Well, looking at the original list (NEL ASA, PowerCell, Ballard, Bloom Energy, dynaCERT, ITM Power, AFC Energy, Ceres, FuelCell, PlugPower) we have to leave one out, because it’s too “young”. It turns out Bloom Energy did not publish annual reports for 2016 and 2018 and therefore it will be ignored in the 3D-graph. Only nine companies went in, but ninety percent of an unknown selection is not bad at all!
After generating the graph, a couple of other issues came up. Some of these companies are relatively large whilst others are quite small. Putting them together in one 3D-graph dwarfs out some and even makes their buildings invisible.
Don’t forget to double-click one of the gifs to see the real 3D-graph in your browser! Then, manipulation is rather easy: Clicking the right mouse-button, moving the mouse up and down will zoom the graph in and out. Clicking left and moving the mouse will tilt the graph in different directions (or move the observer’s viewpoint around a fixed graph – it’s relative of course). Double clicking in the graph translates it and moves the centre at the same time. As a result the way the graph tilts will change. Just try it. If you don’t know how to get the normal position back, just refresh the graph.
Splitting was the best option, so we created a 3D-graph for the giants and another one for the dwarfs (as said it’s all relative, because the real giants like ExxonMobil or Volkswagen would wipe out all of them).
Another complication was a very rare event. PlugPower presented negative revenue for 2020. We already knew AnRep3D is capable of dealing with negative equity. Negative revenue isn’t a big deal either, but on top of this negative revenue a big loss was reported and a loss is added to the revenue as a red roof to show the total costs. With negative revenue the building would show something meaningless, so a manual intervention was needed: the loss was presented as a positive amount (which is subtracted from the negative revenue showing the costs below the baseline), but then this “roof under the ground” would be green. This was corrected in the 3D-graph directly, by changing the (X3D) colour code from 0 1 0 to 1 0 0.
We have to admit: AnRep3D can handle losses, negative equity and even negative revenue but the latter not in combination with a loss. Since negative revenue will always come with a loss this is our Waterloo! Fortunately it’s a very rare situation.
Then there is something peculiar when looking at PlugPower, because it was the only company in the whole 3D-graph to report a (very small) profit (2018). Such a single green roof really looks like an anomaly and because in 2018 there was hardly any equity left, the building is extremely narrow at the same time. As a result the green roof can only be observed from a very short distance (zooming in on the PlugPower building for 2018 completely). Yet it is a profit after all, in a sea of losses.
For more background on the 3D-graph generator, download our white-paper together with the 3D-graphs (html-format, available as zip). Or go to our website and download the free licence to try the 3D-graph generator yourself! Our Youtube-channel offers short explanatory movies on the 3D-graphs and the generator creating them.