Embracing Hydrogen: A Path Forward for Wales – By Wyn Prichard

03 July 2024

As the world shifts towards sustainable energy, hydrogen has emerged as a promising solution to meet global decarbonisation goals. In Wales, we are at the forefront of this revolution, leveraging our industrial base and commitment to net-zero targets to spearhead hydrogen initiatives. As a Specialist Consultant here at Hydrogen Safe, I am excited to share insights on how hydrogen can reshape our future and the critical skills needed to support this transformation.

Hydrogen: A Catalyst for Change

Wales, with its rich industrial heritage, is uniquely positioned to lead in the hydrogen sector. Our region’s ambitious decarbonisation roadmap places hydrogen at the centre, recognising its potential to reduce emissions across various industries, from transportation to manufacturing. 

Wales is well positioned to lead on hydrogen thanks to initiatives like the Future Generations Act that take a long-term, collaborative view of sustainability.

Building a Skilled Workforce

One of the most significant challenges we face is ensuring that our workforce is adequately prepared to meet the demands of the hydrogen economy. Both technical skills, and a comprehensive understanding of safety protocols, is keenly needed. 

We must ensure our skills training keeps pace with industry demands. Hydrogen deployment plans will mean new roles in plant construction, maintenance and operations – we need the right people ready to fill them. 

Hydrogen Safe are developing and implementing digital assets and specialised courses to address these needs. Our Level 2 course, for instance, is tailored to provide foundational knowledge and practical skills in hydrogen safety, bridging the gap between traditional industries and the emerging green energy sector.

Hydrogen Safe has also established a key strategic group in Wales, designed to foster engagement and ensure a cohesive delivery plan that encompasses the fast-changing requirements of net zero skills. This is critical in terms of developing the competent workforce required in Wales, as well as creating knowledgeable teaching expertise in this sector.

Moreover, partnerships with local educational institutions, industry leaders, and government bodies are crucial. These collaborations enable us to deliver training that is both relevant and forward-thinking, ensuring that our workforce can thrive in a rapidly evolving energy landscape​.

The Future of Hydrogen in Wales

The potential of hydrogen extends beyond its environmental benefits. It represents an economic opportunity for Wales, fostering innovation, creating jobs, and positioning us as a leader in the green energy market. By investing in hydrogen, not only we are addressing the pressing issue of climate change, but we’re also driving economic growth and resilience.

The Swansea Bay City Deal Skills and Talent Programme, which recently funded our initiatives, further highlights the region’s commitment to developing high-quality jobs in the hydrogen economy. This is a fantastic step in the right direction, and as the Wales Government and officials look to develop their net zero strategy and delivery plans further, hydrogen must be considered a key part of the renewables solutions matrix moving forward. 

With the right partnerships between industry, education and government, hydrogen can power new high-skilled, well-paid careers across Wales for many years to come. Our future is green, and hydrogen will play a key part in realising that vision.

Conclusion

The journey towards a hydrogen-powered future is both exciting and challenging. It requires a collective effort, continuous learning, and unwavering commitment to safety and excellence. At Hydrogen Safe, we are proud to be at the forefront of this journey, empowering individuals and communities with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the hydrogen economy. 

Let’s embrace this opportunity and lead the way in creating a greener, more sustainable Wales.

For more information about our courses and initiatives, visit the Hydrogen Safe Wales​ website​.

“Let’s create a greener, more sustainable and safer world for everyone.”

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