Summary Of The Project

Title: “Developing a Workforce for a Hydrogen Technology Economy”
Applicant: Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Thomas Reddoch
Major Participants: Gas Technical Institute; Oregon State University; Purdue University; University of Delaware; and Embedded Assessments

Objectives of the Project:

The Hydrogen Education for a Decarbonized Global Economy (H2EDGE ) initiative will advance emerging hydrogen technologies, applications, industry, and workforce by developing newly trained personnel, and enabling the existing workforce to migrate into the hydrogen field by way of enhanced industry coordination and workforce readiness initiatives, made possible by training, education, and recruitment of qualified people.

Description of the Project:

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) along with electric and gas industry participants, hydrogen industry participants, the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and universities propose the H2EDGE initiative to develop and train a workforce for the emerging hydrogen technology industry and its end-use applications. The content provided will address workforce development skills in the four key technical pillars that form the basis for the hydrogen industry: 1) Production, 2) Delivery, 3) Storage, and 4) Use with safety as a foundational woven through each pillar. The project team will develop each technical pillar from training needs throughout the pipeline of the workforce. The approach will be multi-pronged across several categories; longevity of career, diversity in delivery mechanism and regional and national availability. The training materials developed for the project include both university curricula and professional training materials.

EPRI will use a variety of past, present, and developing activities for training tomorrow’s energy workforce on safe and economic hydrogen technology production, transportation, storage and usage assets. Beginning in 2013, EPRI set out to develop and build a workforce development program and infrastructure to support the growth for development of the next generation of electric power engineers. The effort was focused on integrating renewable energy technology into the grid of the future which led to the creation of the Center for Grid Engineering Education (GridEd). It has become a sustaining training & education (T&E) infrastructure. In 2017 EPRI’s Board of Directors invested in an operating infrastructure to sustain the T&E initiatives across EPRI in support of the industry thorough a system known as EPRI University (EPRI|U). Further, in early 2020, EPRI in partnership with the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) launched a $100M+ commitment to advance and facilitate technologies to enable deep decarbonization beyond 2030 called the Low-Carbon Resource Initiative (LCRI) as a five-year R&D commitment. EPRI has added three universities to its team to have a full spectrum of participants: Oregon State University, Purdue University and the University of Delaware.

The addition of Federal funding will accelerate the process of training a hydrogen technology workforce by producing training materials which is challenging to secure through private investment. Further, DOE’s involvement will stimulate national awareness of the impact that hydrogen-based economy could have.