As a clean, zero-emission energy source and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional fossil fuels, hydrogen plays an integral role in our move toward a greener future. Like electricity, hydrogen is an energy carrier and can be produced by wind and solar and then stored for later use. Hydrogen is a proven fuel for everyday use, as well as safe, non-toxic and easily dissipated into the atmosphere.
When compressed hydrogen is used in a fuel cell, its only byproducts are electricity, clean water and heat, meaning that hydrogen-powered vehicles and equipment release zero pollutants or greenhouse gases into the air. In addition to reducing air pollutants, hydrogen-powered vehicles are extremely quiet, limiting noise pollution in our cities and factories.
By making the switch to hydrogen fuel, we're doing our part to conserve natural resources, improve the health in our communities and create a greener, cleaner future for ourselves and future generations.
As hydrogen fuel cell technology advances and market demand continues to increase, every aspect of the technology will demand qualified employees – from hydrogen production and distribution to fuel cell manufacturing and vehicle maintenance. Analyses show that FCEV market penetration alone is projected to create 100,000 new jobs in the United States by 2035 and 300,000 jobs by 2050.
In the Midwest, the job growth potential is strong. According to the Hydrogen Roadmap for the U.S. Midwest Region, 65,000 new jobs could be created in the region over next 15 years. The region is already home to a leading number of companies associated with the fuel cell supply chain, including component and material suppliers, stack and systems integrators, and plant equipment and service providers and hydrogen production suppliers. In fact, there’s not a fuel cell manufactured in the U.S. that does not have Ohio components. The industry already employs 2,500 workers in the state, with an anticipated 5,000 in 2022. In Michigan, for example, GM and Honda will partner to mass-produce hydrogen fuel cell systems in 2020, creating nearly 100 new jobs.
Fuel Cell Technology Careers
- Mechanical engineers
- Chemical engineers
- Electrical engineers
- Materials scientists
- Laboratory technicians
- Factory workers
- Industrial engineers
- Power plant operators
- Power plant maintenance staff
- Bus, truck and other fleet drivers
- Vehicle technicians
- Fueling infrastructure installers
- Hydrogen production technicians
Want to Learn More?
- Hydrogen Roadmap for the U.S. Midwest Region (RHFCC, SARTA, CALSTART)
- Careers in Fuel Cell Technology (DOE)
- Ohio: The Fuel Cell Corridor (Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition)
- GM and Honda to Establish Industry-First Joint Fuel Cell System Manufacturing Operation in Michigan (GM)
- State of the States: Fuel Cells in America 2017 (DOE)
Hydrogen is a sustainable, long-term fueling option for vehicles and equipment. We can use it forever without harming the environment. Not only can it be produced domestically and even locally through renewable resources, but its use promotes energy security and protects our environment. As a zero-emission technology, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) will not damage our environment – in fact, their continued use may even improve our surroundings.
Unlike coal and petroleum, hydrogen is abundant and naturally replenished, making it a perfect renewable energy source with the potential to transform the transportation landscape.
Despite its abundance, hydrogen does not naturally occur as a gas. To be used as a fuel, hydrogen must be isolated from compound sources such as water and natural gas, a process that can be easily performed using renewable energy from either wind, solar or both. By using renewable sources of power to make hydrogen fuel, we can create a completely clean cycle – from fuel production, to fuel use – as hydrogen powered vehicles release zero emissions.
Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) can successfully help us preserve our environment, while conserving natural resources. By reducing our dependency on fossil fuels, hydrogen can help us achieve energy security and make renewably driven transportation a reality.
The United States depends heavily on foreign oil, making our widespread transportation infrastructure vulnerable to political and economic disruptions that may be out of our control.
Hydrogen, on the other hand, can be produced domestically and even locally from a diverse array of resources. The use of hydrogen has the potential to greatly reduce and eventually eliminate our reliance on foreign energy sources when used to power fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The majority of hydrogen is produced by natural gas reforming, a cost-effective process that most commonly employs methane-driven steam reforming to isolate hydrogen. Renewable energy sources like biogas, wind and solar offer green, sustainable options for production.
Today, hydrogen is produced throughout the United States and can be easily scaled to meet specific application needs – from large central plants to small units located at or near the location where it is being used.