The commitment to energy transition will lead to an exponential growth in employment associated with green energy sectors, such as renewables, batteries (as we saw in a previous blog post) and hydrogen. Green Hydrogen Technologies will open up remarkable new opportunities in high-skilled occupations in the coming years.

According to projections by the U.N. International Labor Organization, climate change induced temperatures increases could lead to a loss of 80 million jobs by 2030, costing the global economy US$2.4 trillion, with poor countries worst hit.

Climate change will impact not only labor productivity and serious illness, but also rain patterns, wildfires, sea levels, natural disasters, drought and loss of biodiversity. It will affect the fishing and the agriculture sector (losing up to 60% of the working hours between farmers and workers in the agricultural supply chain), and also the transport, tourism, construction and industrial sectors.

Nevertheless, meeting the global challenge of climate change is an opportunity to boost the fast-growing green energy sector to fight climate change, while creating jobs for skilled workers.

When challenges become opportunities

In 2020, the energy sector employed nearly 60 million people worldwide. Meanwhile, in 2021, renewable energy employment reached 12.7 million; an increase of 700,000 new jobs in one year despite the prolonged effects of COVID-19.

In fact, with the global energy demand expected to double by 2050, a well-designed transition to clean energy will help to make the job market more resilient to resource scarcity and demographic changes.

When it comes to hydrogen, as an important 21st century solution to the problem of reaching CO2 emission targets given by Paris Agreement, green hydrogen technology will be a robust generator of jobs. The green hydrogen economy could provide 18% of the global energy demand, generate 30 million jobs by 2050 and generate $2.5 trillion annual revenue worldwide.

Betting on green hydrogen to fulfil employment growth: Meet 18% energy demand, generate 750 billion € per year, create 30 million jobs, reduce CO 2 emissions by 24%, and mitigate global warming effect

Indeed, renewables and hydrogen markets are expected to be huge job generators as they require substantial infrastructure development, technology development and support services. New transport and infrastructure technologies must be designed and built to  utilize the power of hydrogen and road transport will be the responsible the largest contributor of new jobs creation in a high demand scenario.


The European Commission estimates that every billion of investment in green hydrogen will create 20,000 jobs along the supply chain – production, transmission, storage and utilization. It is also estimated the green hydrogen economy could create as many as 5.4 million upstream jobs in the EU by 2050, of which about one-third of new jobs would be associated only with fuel cells. That is almost three times the number of jobs in the EU chemical industry.

In fact, fuel cell electric vehicles could help retain, and inclusive expand, the European automotive industry, especially in the heavy transport sector. This assumption is based on the fact that a fuel cell car contains a large amount of components and can, therefore, retain production and assembly labor in Europe.

Betting on green hydrogen to fulfil employment growth

The bottom line is that the transition from fossil fuels to green hydrogen is expensive, but is excellent for job creation because such technology is decentralized and labour-intensive.

For example, Cepsa will invest up to 5 billion euros in Andalusia to lead the generation of sustainable energy in Spain and Portugal and to be a linchpin in the energy transition. The plans of Cepsa include the installation green hydrogen production plants, with a capacity of 2 GW by 2030, in its industrial centers in Andalusia. Such investment is expected to generate 17,000 new jobs.

Focus on training today, for the jobs of tomorrow.

To make this transition happen, many of the new job opportunities will require workers from declining sectors to make technical, geographical and skills adjustments. Future hydrogen jobs that will be needed include: i) operation, service and maintenance of the H2 technologies (e.g. electrolysers, fuel cells, etc.), ii) transmission and transportation of H2, iii) storage and iv) service of the end user. Long term job opportunities are most likely to be generated with the provision of services and expertise to the green H2 industry.

The energy shift, together with the COVID pandemic, have put in evidence the lack of qualified personnel to realize the energy transition at the desired pace.  With fewer people receiving the adequate technical education, the gap between demand and supply is expected to grow.

Many jobs from the fossil fuels chain will be lost and workers need to be supported to make this move into the renewable and hydrogen economy. In this regard, policymakers and industries need to address this need for skills training, job generation and climate change all at the same time. It will likely be necessary to develop completely new academic and corporate programmes for education, acreditation and vocational training. In other cases, upskilling or reskilling the existing workforce will likely be essential.

The EU is to ensure the skills needs of the rapidly expanding and evolving Hydrogen Value Chain can be met by developing and implementing an extended and effective Hydrogen Skills Strategy.

In this vein, Germany’s National Hydrogen Strategy focuses on creating new research institutes and building educational and research capacity in the required skills for the hydrogen supply chain. At the same time, the UK government have created a framework for skills accreditation for heating engineers working with hydrogen to secure the volume of workers needed to build a hydrogen programme called Hy4Heat (implementation of hydrogen for heating systems).

The Hydrogen energy transition symbolizes a big opportunity for this generation of the world’s workers and provides and opportunity to ensure that the new energy workforce is more inclusive for female and other underrepresented workers. Governments across the world must liaise directly with unions and corporations to ensure that workers are provided with the prospects to thrive in the H2 economy.


At the CIC energiGUNE, together with the EU, the Spanish and the Basque government, we provide, to young talent highly skill training on material synthesis, characterization, testing, engineering development and deployment of H2 technologies.

Cookies on this website are used to personalize content and advertisements, provide social media features, and analyze traffic. You can get more information and configure your preferences HERE