Paul Rodden • Season: 2024 • Episode: 284
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In episode 284, The hydrogen job market is looking to be a great place to land for oil and gas professionals and GM and Honda announced the production of their joint venture fuel cell and the world is taking notice. I’ll go over these topics and give my thoughts on today’s hydrogen podcast.
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The hydrogen job market is looking to be a great place to land for oil and gas professionals and GM and Honda announced the production of their joint venture fuel cell and the world is taking notice. I’ll go over these topics and give my thoughts on today’s hydrogen podcast.
So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where’s capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.
In an article in powermac.com Alejandro Rosell writes oil and gas groups will support new jobs in the hydrogen sector. He writes a study from a group that recruits workers for energy sector jobs has found that as many as 39% of workers in nascent green hydrogen industry are coming from the hydrocarbon sector. The report from worldwide recruitment energy released in January of 2024, and the second edition of the study compiled responses from more than 4150 Energy workers across 52 countries.
The group in a statement said the respondents are a representative sample of a quote, talent migration that is redefining the rules of the game and the renewable energy job market. The report’s authors wrote that workers trained by oil and gas companies are transitioning to the hydrogen sector. The report also says that the professions of the future are already here and essential from experts in artificial intelligence to specialists and maritime technologies and carbon capture.
The hydrogen sector is being built with innovative skills. The report said several questions remain unanswered about the workforce needed to support the hydrogen economy. Notably, whether the current support for hydrogen fueled energy will continue or will be a passing trend. The author’s also said that market uncertainty extends to prices and price competitiveness, demand for the fuel the ability to control production costs, and of course, whether there will be enough workers with the necessary skills to support production.
The report to date said that there has been no strong price signals real projects are few and the chicken or egg dilemma it remains unsolved. But there is growing interest among professionals in the sector, with volume of professionals who said they could interview for hydrogen sector jobs increasing four times compared to the previous study. The hydrogen job market has been helped by quote a greater number of jobs specializations in the hydrogen chain and an increased offering of training in the field. The report’s authors said a striking finding is that the oil sector stands out as the main driver of employment contributing 39% of the new positions. Even though only 16% of the respondents came from the industry. It represents a quote talent migration that redefines the job market.
One trend indicated by the second edition of the study is a progressive transition from projects on paper to projects on the ground. The growing demand of interest in hard profiles specialized in the execution, installation or maintenance of projects point in this direction. There’s also a need for professionals who will only be necessary in the advanced phases of projects, such as specialists in electrolyzers, procurement and logistics pipelines, electromechanical safety, maintenance, transportation, software, or simply being project managers who can handle these phases.
The authors also said this addition also seems to verify that profiles with higher education, especially engineers, and project planners will continue to be the most sought after due to their versatility and the complexities and challenges posed by the new hydrogen industry. However, there’s also a growing demand for technical profiles with medium or vocational training. This seems to be a genuine bottleneck, despite the survey raising doubts about the supply of these profiles, confirming that the demand for them will be intensive and on a large scale. The report also highlights the growing importance of what are called mixed profiles that possess technical knowledge but also business financial modeling or even commercial skills.
This trend which undoubtedly exists in other sectors, is particularly intense in this field, where large technological blocks such as energy chemistry, industrial production and logistics intertwine. The study also detected for the first time the demand for future professionals who are already a part of present experts in artificial intelligence, energy and maritime technologies, carbon capture and storage, combustion experts, materials specialists and automation are some of the professions that the future is beginning to demand outlining the guidelines for the green hydrogen job sector. The need for increasingly complex specialized yet versatile professionals suggests that this will be a sector requiring highly qualified and multifaceted individuals.
Okay, so we’ve received several emails over the last few months with questions regarding hydrogen sector jobs, and how we believe the job market will develop in the next few years. This report lays out quite well my thoughts on the hydrogen sector job growth, I believe it will mimic very closely the oil and gas job field albeit with less field personnel.
Now, that’s not to say that field crews won’t be needed they will still be the backbone of hydrogen production just like they are with oil and gas, especially when using natural gas as the feedstock. Trade knowledge of pipes, fittings, meters, and overall gas transportation and handling are critical regardless of the methods used to produce the hydrogen.
And don’t forget subsurface hydrogen has the potential to be a direct source of economically scalable hydrogen, meaning geologists geophysicists, and reservoir engineers, all will have a role to play in the hydrogen transition. Now with that said, there is still a mountain of training required to transition into the hydrogen market. But the skills talent and experience in all aspects of the oil and gas job market make those who are coming from that background into hydrogen, absolutely worth their weight in gold.
Next, in a press release on January 25, GM and Honda began commercial production at industry’s first hydrogen fuel cell system manufacturing joint venture. In a pivotal moment in the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell systems, GM and Honda today announced the start of production at their 50-50 joint venture production facility, FCSM. FCSM is the first large-scale manufacturing joint venture to build fuel cells. FCSM was established in Brownstown, Michigan, in January 2017 based on a joint investment of $85 million. The 70,000-square-foot facility has already created 80 jobs. The world-class hydrogen power solutions built at FCSM will be used by both companies in various product applications and business ventures.
“This is a historic day for the industry as GM and Honda are the first full fuel cell system manufacturing joint venture to begin volume production of fuel cells for transportation and beyond,” said FCSM president Suheb Haq. “We begin the process with raw materials for membrane and electrode all the way through completed systems. Ongoing investment and commitment by both companies is driving our success at FCSM. This commitment aligns with our mission of making high quality, durable and affordable hydrogen fuel cell systems for a wide range of applications and customers.” “We integrated the strengths of Honda and GM to create the most capable production system at this joint venture,” said Tetsuo Suzuki, vice president of FCSM.
“We brought a mass production mindset with attention to detail and a focus on high quality, and now we are ready to meet the needs of the customers for the future applications of fuel cell technology and the beginning of the hydrogen era.” Honda and GM engineers began work in 2013 on the co-development of the next-generation fuel cell system. In addition to advancing fuel cell system performance, GM and Honda collaborated to double durability compared to the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell by using corrosion-resistant materials and by improving low-temperature operation.
Together, the two companies also focused on lowering development and manufacturing costs by leveraging economies of scale, advancing the cell design, simplifying supporting auxiliary equipment, utilizing common sourcing, and reducing the use of costly precious metals. Through this collaboration, the new fuel cell systems will be one-third less expensive to make when compared to the cost of the fuel cell system in the 2019 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.
Significant efforts have also been made at FCSM to ensure the highest levels of quality while improving manufacturing productivity. The venture incorporates many first-of-their-kind methods for automating membrane-electrode-assembly production and fuel cell stack assembly. Both the GM and Honda engineering teams and the companies’ relevant intellectual property and expertise have been integrated at FCSM to create affordable, commercially viable hydrogen fuel cell systems to be utilized in a variety of zero-emissions propulsion and energy management applications.
GM and Honda share in the belief that hydrogen and fuel cell technology will play an increasingly important role in meeting a wide variety of zero-emissions energy and mobility needs, and each company has provided further details about their individual hydrogen business strategies.
Okay, so this is an absolute mountain of a joint venture from two companies who know just how to develop scale market and distribute fuel cell technology. I love this collaboration and can’t wait to see the next steps. Now at the end of this article, there are two links pointing to GM and Honda’s plan for hydrogen. I don’t have time today to go over each in detail, but I will say that the GM link highlights a press release from December on their collaboration with auto car to supply them with their Hydrotech fuel cells to be used first and built to order cement mixers roll off and dump trucks with production starting in 2026.
The Hydrotech systems are monsters with 300 fuel cells providing 77 kilowatts of power. The link for Honda points to a recent press release from January 25. Simply highlighting how hydrogen will be incorporated into their business model throughout their entire value chain and everything from the new fuel cell EV CRV, the fuel cell power station mentioned in this article, their establishment of the hydrogen ecosystem and beyond.
I’m very much on board with this collaboration. And I can’t wait to see how they build on this announcement. All right, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have a second, I would really appreciate it. If you could leave a good review on whatever platform it is that you listen to Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, YouTube, whatever it is, that would be a tremendous help to the show.
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