Hydrogen Technology

What is Hydrogen?

Hydrogen is a clean alternative to methane, also known as natural gas. It's the most abundant chemical element and is estimated to contribute 75% of the mass of the universe.

Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biogas and renewable power. The challenge is harnessing hydrogen as a gas on a large scale to fuel our homes and businesses.

Green hydrogen, which is produced through renewable resources such as solar and wind, holds significant promise in meeting the world’s future energy demands. The production, storage and usage of green hydrogen is a trailblazer, bridging the gap between conventional energy and a new vibrant energy mix.

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The future of hydrogen

Hydrogen can be used to power vehicles, generate electricity, power industry, and heat our homes and businesses. It could make a huge difference on our carbon emissions and is critical to achieving net zero.

  • Fuel Cells: Improving fuel cell technology and materials needed for fuel cells.
  • Production: Developing technology to efficiently and cost-effectively make hydrogen from renewable energy sources.
  • Storage: Developing technology to efficiently and cost-effectively store and transport hydrogen.

The current situation

Right now, almost all hydrogen produced worldwide is “grey,” which means it is produced from natural gas. Without a price on carbon emissions, grey hydrogen is inexpensive (€1 to €2 per kilogram), but it compounds the challenge of improving environmental sustainability. Green hydrogen, in contrast, uses renewable electricity to power electrolysis that splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Because green hydrogen doesn’t require fossil fuels, it is a better long-term solution to help decarbonize economies. Yet green hydrogen, which costs €3 to €8/kg in some regions, is currently more expensive than grey.

These costs will decrease over time due to continuously falling renewable energy production costs, economies of scale, lessons from projects underway and technological advances. As a result, green hydrogen will become more economical.

While building the infrastructure for large scale hydrogen use, such as pipelines or export/ import terminals, will take many years. To meet the Paris climate targets, planning for infrastructure must begin now.

Developing projects today is vital to ensure continuous demand growth, which justifies the implementation of the required hydrogen infrastructure to meet future greenhouse gas reduction targets

The Green Hydrogen Market

The global green hydrogen market is segmented on the basis of technology, application, end-use industry, and region. By technology, the market is classified into proton exchange membrane electrolysers, alkaline electrolysers, and solid oxide electrolysers. By application, it is segmented into power generation, transport, and others. By end-use industry, it is divided into food & beverages, medical, chemical, petrochemicals, glass, and others. Region-wise, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

Some of the key players operating in the global green hydrogen market are Ballard Power Systems, Enapter, Engie, Green Hydrogen Systems, Hydrogenics, Nikola Motors, Plug Power, SGH2 Energy Global LLC, Shell, and Siemens Gas and Power GmbH & Co. KG.

Today the pipeline for green hydrogen projects is on track for a halving of electrolyser cost before 2030. This, combined with large projects located where the best renewable resources are, will lead to competitive green hydrogen being available at scale in the next 5-10 years.

What does this mean for the hydrogen job market?

The hydrogen market is new and offers lots of opportunities. Therefore, the right candidates within the right markets need to be targeted and made aware of these benefits.

As a business, Gibson Watts has substantial experience in successfully recruiting across the entire hydrogen value chain, from production, to storage and distribution, utilisation and infrastructure development. We have collaborated with clients to help attract, recruit and retain employees across all functions, and seniorities, this includes our Executive Search team.

The Hydrogen Value Chain

By getting the support of a team like Gibson Watts, the right candidates can be identified and assessed early for roles. The team harness several techniques, which ensure businesses have access to only the best pool of candidates to fill their roles. With a speciality in the renewable energy and hydrogen sector, Gibson Watts help projects and organisations grow through building highly skilled teams, wherever in the world they may be.

From the initial candidate contact, through to successful conclusion and onboarding, Gibson Watts provides a streamlined executive search process and allows businesses to remain focused on the important things.

This is a clear demand and need, for talent within the hydrogen industry and something that will not change for the foreseeable future.  Gibson Watts has the credentials and expertise to advise and support your business, contact us today to find out more.

Priorities for management teams

Make sure you have the below priorities in place to be prepared for the near future:

  • Develop a company-specific hydrogen strategy, including technological requirements, M&A activities and partnerships, and the specific requirements of emerging markets.
  • Identify pilot projects, analyse their technical and economic feasibility, and evaluate financing possibilities.
  • Optimise the business case through measures such as identifying suitable funding initiatives and the use of by-products.
  • Assess legal and regulatory implications on a national and international level.
  • Identify suitable R&D as well as project subsidies worldwide.
  • Develop and implement hydrogen procurement and trade strategies.
  • Understand national and international certification models for green hydrogen and its derivates.
  • Integrating hydrogen-related projects into reporting.