What happened

Shares of fuel-cell power generator Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE) were down 5% as of 1:30 p.m. EST Wednesday on no company-specific news. Recent gains have been driven by a promising outlook for the industry, but a short-seller report directed at a competitor also was released today. 

So what

Fuel-cell stocks have been charging higher in 2021. Bloom Energy shares have gained 32% just since the start of the new year. Much of the optimism comes from the political landscape, which was supported last week when the Department of Energy (DOE) announced new plans for federal funding in the sector. 

But Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) was the target of a short-seller report today that may be impacting others in the sector. 

Bloom Energy power generation system in snowy scene

Image source: Bloom Energy.

Now what

The DOE announced that $160 million in funding will be "aimed to develop technologies for the production, transport, storage, and utilization of fossil-based hydrogen." One of the specific objectives is to develop new, more efficient and cost effective materials for solid oxide electrolysis cell technology, which is a product Bloom supplies. 

It will also be used to "develop transformative natural gas decarbonization technologies to produce zero- or negative-carbon hydrogen." Bloom's Energy Server platforms can be fueled by natural gas, which should benefit. 

The short report on Plug Power focuses on the company's valuation and market size. Bloom shares may be moving in sympathy today, but it's valuation is 80% lower and its market isn't the same.

While Bloom Energy is still somewhat of a speculative stock in the renewable energy space, it may be moving down for the wrong reason today. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.