What happened

Reversing course from their falls in the first half of the week, markets are moving slightly north today. Shares of renewable energy stocks Bloom Energy (BE -9.72%), Lordstown Motors (RIDE -4.29%), and Plug Power (PLUG -5.81%), however, are jumping a little higher. As of 11:53 a.m. ET on Wednesday, shares of hydrogen stocks Bloom Energy and Plug Power are up 7.1% and 6.9%, respectively, while electric-vehicle (EV) stock Lordstown Motors is up 4.8%, having come down slightly from its earlier rise of 5.9% today.

Whereas a new agreement between Germany and Canada is helping to fuel the bullish sentiment for Bloom Energy and Plug Power, Lordstown Motors is driving higher thanks to the meme stock crowd.

So what

In a step that will help it meet its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045, Germany has inked a green-hydrogen agreement with Canada. With the assistance of wind turbines in Newfoundland and Labrador in the eastern part of the country, Canada will produce green hydrogen and ship it to Germany. According to Bloomberg, the deal will establish "a transatlantic supply chain for hydrogen well before 2030, with first deliveries aiming for 2025." 

The new hydrogen partnership between the two nations surely caught the eye of investors who recognize the deal as further validation that hydrogen will occupy a prominent position in the energy landscape of the future. Plug Power has ambitious goals to develop a vertically integrated infrastructure, ranging from the production of hydrogen to the transport, storage, and dispensing of it.

Announcing several deals related to green hydrogen production over the past year -- most recently with New Fortress Energy on a facility in Texas -- Plug Power has set a goal of producing 500 tons per day in North America by 2025 and 1,000 tons per day globally by 2028.

Bloom Energy hasn't articulated hydrogen production goals as ambitious as Plug Power's, but the company has an interest in the development of the alternative fuel. Earlier this month, it reported that its Bloom Electrolyzer is able to produce hydrogen up to 45% more efficiently than traditional proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (such as those used by Plug Power).

While hydrogen investors are focusing on the big stage of global relations today, EV investors seem more attuned to small screens and social media. According to wsbdaily.com, a website that tracks interest in stocks on social media, Lordstown Motors is the subject of growing focus on the Daily Discussions thread of Reddit's Wall Street Bets.

The EV manufacturer reported encouraging second-quarter 2022 earnings a few weeks ago, energizing bulls to buy shares. After a recent sell-off, though, investors might now be looking to power their portfolios again with Lordstown Motors, with the opportunity to pick up shares at a discount to their price after the company reported earnings.

Now what

Although the new agreement between Canada and Germany is an encouraging sign for hydrogen investors, it's important to recognize that there are plenty of challenges that Plug Power still faces. The growing global interest in hydrogen solutions may, in fact, help the company to achieve its hydrogen production targets, but it's unclear whether the company will be able to translate this to profitability. Consequently, those interested in Plug Power should dig deeper and recognize the associated risks before buying the stock.

Bloom Energy, on the other hand, has consistently generated a gross profit over the past few years and represents a better option for risk-averse investors interested in hydrogen.

Although Lordstown Motors is gaining popularity on social media, it remains at the higher end of the risk spectrum because it doesn't currently have any vehicles on the road. Fortunately for EV investors, this is merely one of many stocks that could put a charge in a portfolio.