With the announcement that the EPA will regulate carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, investors in fuel cell manufacturers FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) and Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ:BLDP) might be jumping for joy. After all, the massive retirement of coal plants over the next several years will mean that there is lots of room for fuel cells to take market share, and it will basically knock coal out as a power generation competitor.

This is all true, but the problem is that fuel cells designed for larger scale power generation -- products that both FuelCell and Ballard offer -- don't really need to compete with coal right now. The real challenge is being a better option than natural gas. 

To be better than natural gas, FuelCell Energy and Ballard need to improve this important power generation metric: levelized cost of energy. Find out where they are today regarding this metric and how getting to parity with natural gas and other power generation sources is one step toward the ultimate goal of profitability by tuning into the video below. 


Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at Fool.com under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google+, or on Twitter @TylerCroweFool.

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