Our History and Heritage

In 1976, Petroplan’s co-founders, John Reeder and Graham Pyle, met as engineers on a large project in Canvey Island, UK for the Occidental Petroleum Company. During some project downtime they deliberated the need for more expertise in the market for project controls.

Their original business idea was to provide consultancy rather than people. The backdrop was that the demand for these skills and knowledge was growing in the North Sea. Many of the methods being implemented utilised technology which had been tested in the U.S. and Black and Caspian Sea regions, but was largely untried in the North Sea, a region which posed very different challenges.

The North Sea environment was harsher and the structures used would have to withstand higher waves and winds. Already some semi-submersibles and jack ups had been knocked down by weathe.

The deepening economic crisis in the UK meant that there was enormous pressure on the industry to get gas and – later – oil flowing. For the oil and gas operators, there were great profits to be made.

With John and Graham’s background in planning and control they created their first brochure which outlined their services. Petroplan Control Systems Ltd was registered on the 2nd July 1976, to provide ‘Project Controls for the Petrochemicals Industries.’

The key services were: planning, estimating, cost control, reports and statistics, material control and computer services … but you could choose the non-computerised route if the cost advantage wasn’t compelling!

First project

The business did not take on its first commercial project until March 1977, for the engineering contractor firm Matthew Hall Group (later acquired by AMEC Foster Wheeler in the 1990s).

However, it soon became clear that the overriding demand from clients was for the talented people required for project controls, across many engineering disciplines.

John and Graham were still contractors themselves during the business set-up phase and their network of contacts made them well-placed to find the talent the oil and gas industry needed.

Contractor recruitment business

Politically in the late 1970s and 1980s, much was changing in the oil and gas industry. British Petroleum was privatised in 1976, and in 1979 it acquired Britoil. Britoil’s role as part regulator and part oil company gave the UK government a large stake in the growing North Sea developments.

John continued to work some of the time on projects as a contractor, such as on the Fulmar platform in the North Sea, to allow an evolution of the business and, while there, he started to place contractors on this project.

By the end of 1977, Petroplan had 30 contractors on its payroll, leaving John and Graham free to focus on growing what had become their contractor recruitment business.

Becoming international

Overseas business for Petroplan began in the late 1970s, working with organisations such as Union Oil in the Netherlands, and Maersk and Danbor in Denmark, alongside other well-known international operators Shell, Texaco and Chevron.

Petroplan’s founders describe these projects as a time of great margins – higher than 20% in the contract recruitment market – and where deals were sealed with a handshake rather than lengthy contractual documents.  

However, some things haven’t changed, such as attempts to predict the exact timing of ‘peak oil’. In the year Petroplan started (1976), Jimmy Carter talked about oil running out by 2011, and this debate still rumbles on.

Today’s exploration and extraction technology has made the longevity of this sector much more viable and can support many generations of oil and gas careers yet to come.

Building for further success

By 1979, the business required further investment in administration, and Jocelyn Thomerson joined to provide general accounts support and organisation for the back-office activity. Jos, later became a  Board Director of Petroplan, leading the operational and contractor management side of the business.

She has recently semi-retired and moved to an NED role. For her, and her well trained global team, the care with which contractors’ well-being and placements are managed is still personal, but the technology to process and administer is now very different.

Petroplan was headquartered in London at various West End offices in the early years, decked out with such items as telex machines, with long ribbons reaching great lengths during busy periods, and Philips word processors to professionally produce typed CVs.

In 1981, Pauline Horton joined the team to also support contractor management and mobilisation.  As time moved on, she also became a Main Board Director, and moved into a focal Client Relationship role.  Over 30 years, Jos and Pauline have moved contractors across many global locations from the North Sea to Algeria to Iraq and Europe.

Moving with the Industry

During the 1980s and 1990s, Petroplan broadened its contractor base from its original focus of planning and cost engineers, to technical staff across the full spectrum of disciplines such as materials control, supply chain and project management to mechanical, electrical and commissioning engineers.

Key projects Petroplan’s contractors oversaw:

  • The Tyra gas platforms in Denmark with the Danbar Drilling Company
  • Floating schemes within the Ivanhoe North Sea oil fields, with Amerada Hess
  • Multiple projects with Shell in the Netherlands
  • Projects in the U.S. with Kerr McGee (now part of the Andarko Petroleum Corporation)
  • BP projects in Norway
  • Projects for Marathon Oil Corporation on refinery turnaround and tanker refits in the U.S. and in the North Sea Brae oilfields
  • Work was also undertaken with Lasmo Oil and Agip UK (both now part of the Eni Group) on the Tiffany, Toni and Thelma fields – known as the T Block – to provide conceptual design teams and subsequently design, construction, installation and commissioning personnel
  • Work in Saudi Arabia with a large national operator
  • Project teams mobilised to Pakistan on behalf of Amec Foster Wheeler
  • Kazakhstan exploration projects with consortia that included the government, supermajors and Agip UK, off the coast of the Northeast Caspian Sea
  • BP projects within Azerbaijan including pipeline developments
  • Nexen projects in the North Sea Buzzard oil field

Investing in the future

The 2000's saw strategic expansion with offices being opened beyond the headquarters in England from 2005. This started with Aberdeen, and was followed by Calgary, Houston, Dubai, Cape Town, Oman and most recently Mozambique.

A new direction was heralded in 2012 with the business placing more emphasis on talent acquisition for clients. Petroplan already had over 30 years of recruitment experience which was built on networks formed before the inception of LinkedIn and job boards.

At this juncture more recruiters and operational support services were put in place to also attract candidates for permanent positions in the energy industry, to expand our reach beyond the active contractor network.

In 2014, to grow our international capability, a new London office was created and this, and Houston now represent Petroplan’s main centres of excellence.

Looking ahead, we remain true to our principles

There have been many changes since 1976 – to business processes, technology, the Energy industry as a whole – but throughout it all Petroplan is governed by two fundamental constants.

Firstly, guided by the strength, wisdom and knowledge of the above mentioned four individuals who are all still main Board Directors today, our utter commitment to the care of our clients and contractors remains our solid foundation.

Secondly, we have a Board who truly understand the Energy industry and are not fazed by the ever-moving political and environmental pressures placed upon it. As oil price and demand for other sources of energy has flexed, along with the motivations of employers and individuals, so too has the Petroplan Group.  

The heart of what we do – providing exceptional talent solutions to the energy industry – is the same today as it was at the beginning.

We know that delivering on our commitments for those that depend on our business is essential.

Let's talk

To have an initial, confidential discussion, please contact us here.

Client Enquiries

Please note that CV's and job applications should be submitted through the website's registration and application process. No registrations or applications are accepted via e-mail. This form is for queries and further information only.


The rapid rise of renewable energy in the Middle East

Historically a region that has relied heavily on its vast reserves of oil and gas, the Middle East, is fast becoming a leader in renewable energy. 

Clean energy capacity in the region doubled between 2010 and 2020 to 40GW, with this figure set to double again by 2024. 

The shift has been sparked by changes in legislation as an increasing number of countries commit to clean energy targets and net zero. 

Which Middle Eastern countries are leading the charge to clean energy?

For decades, the Middle East’s energy mix has been comprised almost exclusively of oil and natural gas. As recently as 2019, these two energy sources made up more than 98% of total supply in the region. 

Recent volatility with oil and gas prices has underlined the risks of relying solely on fossil fuels and, as part of the wider push towards net zero, several countries are now seeking to diversify their energy assets. 

The UAE, a leader for renewables in the region, is aiming to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix to 50% by 2050. Along with a scaling up of solar, wind and biomass, the country is also targeting a 25% share of the global low-carbon hydrogen market by 2030. 

Saudi Arabia has set the most ambitious target of generating 50% of its energy from clean sources by 2030. Solar farms will be the driving force behind the Kingdom’s transition, with the country also investing heavily in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. 

Elsewhere, Qatar is among the countries adopting electric vehicle (EV) technologies and plans to transition to an emissions-free public transport system by 2030. Israel and Oman are also taking steps to reach net zero by 2050, generating thousands of renewable energy jobs for local people. 

Key renewable energy projects in the Middle East

Some of the world’s biggest and most ambitious renewable energy projects can be found in the Middle East. We’ve picked out three key projects that are set to drive the region’s transition to renewable energy over the coming decades. 

Neom, Saudi Arabia

The Neom megacity currently under construction in the northwest of Saudi Arabia promises to push the boundaries of urban design. Its ambitious scope of work extends to energy, with the city to be powered entirely by solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy. 

Neom will also feature what has been dubbed the world’s largest green-hydrogen-based ammonia production plant. The facility is expected to produce up to 600 tonnes of carbon-free hydrogen per day, which will be used as a sustainable alternative to fuel within the global transportation industry.   

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, UAE

Operational since 2013, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is soon to be the world’s largest single-site solar power plant. The power plant’s capacity is projected to reach 5GW by 2030, enough to power 320,000 homes. At its peak, the project created around 1,280 energy sector jobs. 

Alongside the Noor Abu Dhabi Solar Power Plant, which primarily serves the city of Abu Dhabi and holds the current title for the world’s largest single-site power plant, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will play a key part in the UAE’s push towards net zero.   

Dumat al-Jandal Wind Farm, Saudi Arabia

Dumat al-Jandal Wind Farm is Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm and the largest of its kind in the Middle East. Construction on the project began in 2019 and the wind farm was connected to the country’s grid last year. To date, it has created over 1,000 wind farm jobs for local people. 

Work on Dumat al-Jandal is still ongoing, with completion imminent. Once fully operational, it’s expected that the wind farm will have a capacity of 400MW, helping to displace approximately one million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. 

The future of renewable energy in the Middle East

With its sprawling desert terrain and exposure to intense solar irradiation, the future of energy in the Middle East is likely to be led by solar power.  The renewable energy source is set to account for 15% of the region’s power mix by 2030, creating thousands of solar jobs in the process. 

Due to the intermittent nature of solar energy, significant resources have also been allocated to wind energy. New projects in Oman, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will generate plenty of wind farm jobs for local people and industry contractors while bringing the region closer to its clean energy targets. 

The region has also emerged as a leader in green hydrogen. Several trade agreements, including the UAE-Germany Hydrogen Partnership and Saudi Arabia-Germany Hydrogen Agreement, will see the Middle East becoming a major exporter of green hydrogen in the coming decades. 

Similarly, the region has established itself as a hub for the development of CCS technology. Carbon capture will help to reduce emissions from industrial processes while also contributing to the production of low-carbon hydrogen. 

The development of clean energy in the Middle East is exciting news not only for the region but also for the rest of the world. Other countries will benefit from the region’s exports and innovations, creating millions of renewable energy jobs and accelerating the global push towards net zero. 

Supporting the energy transition in the Middle East

With over a decade’s experience in the Middle East, Petroplan is perfectly placed to support renewable energy companies and candidates through the energy transition. We recruit for a wide range of renewable energy jobs and can be trusted to find the right fit for any role.  

Contact us today to discuss our specialist renewable energy recruitment services. 

Power for Petroplan: A look back at 2022

2022 has been a busy but successful year for Petroplan. From scaling up our clean energy operations in the Middle East, to growing our team in North America, we have continued to expand our range of energy services across the globe.

As we continue to grow and adapt our offering to suit the rapidly evolving market landscape, we focus on prioritising and championing the best talent in the sector.

With 2022 drawing to a close, we look back on some of the highlights and achievements across the year…

We kick-started 2022 with a raft of appointments and expansions across the globe, signalling the start of a strategic organisational shift to sharpen our service offering. This business transformation was delivered by six newly appointed senior leadership team members, led by CEO Christopher Honeyman Brown.

January also marked the beginning of the expansion of our operations in the Middle East, driven from our offices in Oman and the UAE – supporting projects across the region in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait too. To accommodate a growing workforce in the region, we acquired more office space in Dubai’s business district at Jumeriah Lake Towers and welcomed new team members in the Muscat office. Leading this growth in the region is Regional Director EMEA, Darren Brown, and Recruitment Director EMEA, Dean Greenwood.

February saw the transformative remodelling of our office in Houston, Texas, to provide a larger and more efficient workspace for the growing US team. US team member Helen Fowler celebrated 8 years at Petroplan this year, following her promotion to Head of Compliance and Operations, North America, in 2021 – an honourable mention!

In recognition of the re-invigoration of energy projects in North America post-pandemic, we appointed David Waterfield as Director for North America in May. David manages our hubs in Houston, Texas, and Calgary, Alberta, and specialises in LNG export projects. As a result, the team in North America is exploring a number of opportunities to support LNG development projects and operational facilities, concentrating on operations in the US Gulf Coast, Western Canada and the Mexico Pacific Coast. 

In May, we celebrated the launch of our employee share scheme – the first of its kind in the recruitment sector. The scheme gives all our employees across the globe – no matter their level or experience – the option to enrol on the scheme on joining the company, with shares exercisable on sale. The share scheme has strengthened our continued mission to attract and retain high quality talent within the industry, and has encouraged productivity, performance, and engagement in the team – building an inclusive culture to celebrate everyone’s successes.

To take advantage of the multiple opportunities for growth in mining and energy in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Petroplan expanded its operations into the large, mineral-rich province in July. The expansion is in line with the increasing demand for hydroelectric, hydrogen and wind power in the region, led by our business consultants in Canada.

Continuing our expansion in the Middle East and following a contractual agreement with national oil company Saudi Aramco in 2019, we expanded our activity in Saudi Arabia in August. This expansion focused on the EPC market in the Eastern province of KSA, and coincides with the Saudi Vision 2030, a strategic framework to reduce the country’s dependence on oil, meet net zero targets and diversify its economy. Petroplan will be supporting significant client projects in the region in the coming years, including the new city of Neom.

In September, the business announced its expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, and appointed Daniel Torpy to drive this new offering forward. With a regional headquarters in Singapore, we have initially focused on driving business expansion in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. In 2023, we will be entering the Australian market in line with government investment in the country’s renewable energy sector.

To end the year, in November we received the news that our annual contribution to Oakleaf’s Mental Health Leaders Network (of which we were founding members in 2021) has helped to provide 50 people with 12 weeks of counselling this year. Oakleaf is a charity who provide free support for those suffering from mental health problems in Guildford, Surrey, and the surrounding areas – where our UK headquarters is based.

As we look ahead to 2023, we will continue to grow into new markets and evolve our service offering, focusing on clean and renewable energy projects in line with international government targets and priorities.

Critical minerals and their role in the energy transition

The transition to renewable energy has given rise to a modern-day mineral rush. Increasing investment in green technology has seen soaring demand for the essential materials that power these systems. 

According to the World Bank, production of the planet’s most critical minerals for energy transition will need to grow by 500% over the next 30 years in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. 

Surging demand for these materials presents new challenges to energy security – challenges that can only be solved through the combined efforts of key players from across the supply chain. 

The use of critical minerals in renewable energy technology

As with oil refineries and power plants, renewable energy systems are reliant on a wide range of minerals for their construction and continued operation. Generally, these systems require more minerals than their fossil fuel-based counterparts. 

According to the IEA, the production of an electric vehicle (EV) calls for approximately six times more minerals than a conventional car. Offshore wind farms need 12 times as many minerals for every megawatt of electricity produced compared to natural gas systems. 

Elsewhere, critical minerals can be found in the high-performance motors, batteries and generators that power solar farms and green hydrogen systems. The widespread need for raw materials and required pace of transition means that minerals sourcing must be scaled up significantly. 

What critical minerals are needed for the energy transition?

The types of minerals needed to support energy transition vary by technology. Some elements are essential for batteries, while others are especially suited to motors, magnets or electrical wiring. Here, we explore five of the materials in greatest demand. 


Arguably the most important mineral for energy transition, copper can be found in a wide range of clean energy technologies including wind turbines and solar panels as well as the energy infrastructure that stores and transports electricity. 

Copper is second only to silver in terms of thermal and electricity conductivity, making the metal especially suited to electrical cabling and wiring. On average, clean energy systems consume around five times more copper than those used in traditional power generation. 


Lithium is among the minerals currently in highest demand, with supply set to triple between 2021 and 2030. The metal is the key component of lithium-ion batteries, used to power many EVs and energy storage systems. 

Light and highly reactive, lithium has a unique ability to store large amounts of energy. However, it’s also finite, has an energy-intensive mining process and can be difficult to recycle. Many challenges lie ahead to scale up and make lithium supply sustainable.  


Just like lithium, cobalt is a critical material that’s used widely in rechargeable batteries. Previously, most cobalt had been used in mobile phones and laptops, however this has changed recently with EV batteries now constituting the largest single user of the metal. 

The growth of the EV market will see demand for cobalt more than quadruple between 2020 and 2050. It’s hoped that a significant chunk of this demand will be met with recycled cobalt, which, compared to lithium, is easier to extract from used batteries. 


Nickel is a versatile metal with many applications in renewable energy infrastructure. Like lithium and cobalt, it can be found in lithium-ion batteries, as well as offshore wind farm equipment, green hydrogen electrolysers and geothermal power stations. 

The metal’s strong resistance to atmospheric corrosion makes it suitable for use in extreme environments. While geothermal energy is yet to be used on a mass scale, the IEA expects that the renewable energy source will account for up to 80% of nickel demand by 2040.   

Rare earth elements  

Rare-earth elements (REEs) are a set of seventeen metallic elements that includes the fifteen lanthanides as well as scandium and yttrium. While these metals are actually quite common, they are rarely found in large enough quantities to be extracted economically. 

Several rare earths are key to energy transition. These include neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium, which are used to manufacture the permanent magnets found in the generators of wind turbines and EVs.   

Scaling up the supply of critical minerals

Even under the least ambitious emissions pathway, the supply of critical minerals for the energy transition will need to increase dramatically. Scaling up supply brings several challenges, including resource shortages, trade restrictions and new environmental concerns associated with extraction. 

While many minerals already have an established recycling infrastructure, others like lithium are yet to be recycled on a mass scale. In these cases, it’s generally accepted that new mining jobs and projects will be required to meet the immediate needs of the transition. 

The demand for these minerals is set to create thousands of new exploration jobs in the short and medium term as secondary production is scaled. Increasing investment in minerals recycling will also generate a large number of jobs in renewable energy. 

Beyond the balancing act of primary and secondary production, there are also geopolitical hurdles to overcome. International collaboration between governments and corporations will underpin the transition, with key players working together closely to develop sustainable supply chains. 

Only through a holistic approach that considers the combined impact of minerals sourcing on the environment and communities that produce these key materials will it be possible to transition successfully to renewable energy. 

Petroplan: supporting the energy transition

We’re proud to play our part in energy transition and stand ready to support employers looking to recruit for a wide range of mining jobs as well as jobs in renewable energy. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your talent acquisition process. 

The graduate's guide to starting a career in the energy sector

The energy sector has long been a leader in graduate employment. As the transition to renewable energy gathers pace, energy companies, now more than ever, are looking to young talent to spearhead the shift to a more sustainable future. 

Global energy investment is set to increase a further 8% in 2022, with the long-term picture of an industry characterised by consistent growth. This makes the energy sector one of the most exciting and attractive industries for graduates at the start of their career. 

Below, we’ve gathered some tips and insights from our specialist consultants for graduates interested in a career in the energy industry. But before we get into that, here’s a brief overview of the global energy sector in 2022. 

The energy sector: an overview for graduates

The global energy industry is at a point of profound change. Historically, the oil & gas sector has been the industry’s biggest employer, with a wide range of roles available to graduates including engineers, technicians and surveyors. 

The transition to clean energy is set to create millions of new jobs in renewable energy. According to a study published in One Earth, the total number of energy jobs will rise from 18 million in 2021 to 26 million in 2050, with as many as 84% of these to be made up by renewable energy jobs. 

Beyond these sectors, graduates could also consider a career in the technology and commercial sectors. Many energy jobs, especially those in natural resources and renewable energy technology, are technically complex and require postgraduate qualifications. 

As a consequence of the likely high demand for talent, graduate energy jobs tend to offer some of the highest starting salaries of any industry. According to a study from the Institute of Student Employers, the average starting salary in the UK’s energy industry is £28,000 – the fifth highest of any industry. 

Lucrative starting salaries and a rising demand for young talent to lead the development of renewable energy technology make a career in the energy industry an incredibly exciting prospect for graduates. 

Finding the right role

As a graduate, the first step is to consider which energy sector jobs appeal to your skills and interests, whether it's a job in the renewable energy sector or a business development role based in an office. In many cases, your degree will steer you towards a particular pathway. 

At such an early stage, however, your career is not set in stone; many employers will encourage you to develop skills in other areas, so don’t be afraid to apply to energy sector jobs that may not be perfectly aligned with your degree. You can get an idea of the roles available on our jobs page. 

Many energy companies have employment initiatives in place, such as industry placements and graduate schemes, to support the transition of graduates into the workplace. These are well worth exploring in greater detail once you’ve found a job role that interests you. 

Building your skills and experience 

When you’ve determined the role that's right for you, you can begin working towards it by building your relevant skills and experience. This could be through a paid role, work placement, training programme, further education or even industry events and conferences. 

A combination of soft and hard skills is key to a successful energy career. Along with technical skills specific to the job role, the top five soft skills to focus on, according to a study from think tank Rank, are active listening, critical thinking, speaking, reading comprehension and monitoring. 

Another thing that cannot be understated is the importance of networking. In the energy industry, personal connections often lead to employment. By registering with a trusted talent partner like Petroplan, candidates can also access a range of exclusive career opportunities. 

Putting together a winning application 

With enough knowledge under your belt, you can start applying for jobs. As a graduate, look for entry-level energy jobs or graduate energy jobs that closely align with your skillset. A permanent role is likely to provide a greater sense of structure compared to contract work, which is especially important in a first job. 

For every application you submit, make sure to personalise your CV and cover letter to the specific requirements of the role. We go into greater detail about how best to structure your CV and provide CV formatting tips elsewhere on the blog. 

Before an interview, do your research on the employer and be prepared to discuss both your technical capabilities and cultural competence. Preparing for a virtual interview requires a slightly different approach – test your technology before the call and make sure to stay visibly engaged throughout. 

Once you’ve secured your first role, commit yourself to continued training and development. Many employers will offer the chance to reskill or upskill, especially as businesses pivot increasingly to renewables. Making using of these opportunities can only enhance your employability. 

Champions of young talent

Petroplan has been helping graduates kickstart their career in the energy sector for more than 45 years. We recruit for a wide range of entry-level energy jobs and graduate energy jobs around the world, and our experienced consultants know exactly what it takes to secure that first role in the industry. 

Register with Petroplan today for instant access to a wide range of exclusive jobs in renewable energy, natural resources and infrastructure as well as expert advice from the industry’s best recruiters. 

How green hydrogen can help in meeting net-zero targets by 2050

Climate change continues to be a major challenge for governments, businesses and the general public. In order to reduce the carbon footprint and achieve net-zero carbon emissions, it’s imperative to develop clean forms of energy as an alternate to fossil fuels.  

However, this challenge is threatened by financial considerations as the world faces the threat of inflation pressures, including interest rate rises, and energy supply and pricing are threatened by geo-political forces, especially in Europe. 

So far, most governments have focused their resources on solar and wind – two forms of renewable energy that are, by nature, intermittent. While the development of these energy sources signals a big step in the right direction, they alone will be unable to meet net-zero targets and continue to be challenged by storage issues. 

One form of clean energy that could prove to have a similar impact to solar and wind is green hydrogen. Investment into this renewable resource is on the increase, and creating the financial platform on which green hydrogen could fulfil its potential and lead the charge toward carbon neutrality. 

What is green hydrogen?

Hydrogen is an important energy carrier used to store and transport energy. Currently, over 95% of hydrogen production is fossil-fuel based. The remaining minority, derived from low-carbon or carbon-free renewable energy sources, can be considered ‘green hydrogen’. 

Water electrolysis is the key process that underpins green hydrogen production. This technique uses a carbon-free electric current, powered by renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro, to split water (H₂O) into hydrogen (H₂) and oxygen (O). 

While green H2 has been discussed as a potential source of renewable energy for some time, only recently has it finally found use in industry. The future for green hydrogen is bright, with the energy source expected to account for up to 12% of global energy usage by 2050. 

How can green hydrogen help in the fight against climate change?

Much of the excitement about green hydrogen stems from its potential to bring several “harder-to-abate" sectors – those that are most difficult to decarbonise – closer to net-zero emissions. Chief among these sectors are energy, steelmaking, chemicals and transport. 

Green hydrogen can help cut emissions in the energy sector

The energy sector is the biggest contributor of any industry to climate change, responsible for around 40% of global carbon emissions. Hydrogen is used in the energy sector as an energy carrier in fuel cells, facilitating the storage and transportation of energy across the supply chain. 

Currently, most energy carriers are derived from fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind continue to be frustrated by lack of efficient storage facilities. 

Green hydrogen, as a low-carbon alternative, has the potential to sustainably store and supply energy in the steps between production and end-use consumption. Green energy generated using renewable sources is an efficient way to create and store low carbon energy. 

Green hydrogen can sustainably power the steelmaking industry

Many of the most influential manufacturing industries are reliant on the use of fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas as part of the production process. One such industry is steelmaking, which was responsible for 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. 

The goal with the steel industry is to replace the oil, coal and natural gas used to heat and reduce iron oxide with green H2. Industry leaders have already begun investing in new on-site electrolysis plants and green steel plants that could almost entirely decarbonise the steel production process. 

Green hydrogen can decarbonise the chemicals industry

Hydrogen is already used widely in the chemicals industry. It’s a fundamental building block in the production of molecules like ammonia and methanol which, in turn, are used to make chemical products such as fertilisers and pharmaceuticals. 

Currently, the chemical industry is heavily reliant on the use of grey hydrogen (hydrogen derived from fossil fuels). It’s expected that these high-carbon forms of hydrogen will be phased out from the chemical manufacturing process once green hydrogen production begins on a mass scale. 

Green hydrogen can transform the transport sector

One sector in which green hydrogen has already broken ground is transport, with several established car manufacturers now mass-producing fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) for the market. Rather than run off petroleum or even a rechargeable battery, these vehicles use a hydrogen-powered fuel cell. 

The aim is to develop this technology so that hydrogen fuel cells can be used not only in cars but also in planes, trains, lorries, buses and even ships. Green hydrogen can also be used to create green ammonia, a next-generation clean combustion fuel for power plants and the shipping industry. 

Building a more sustainable future with green hydrogen

With the energy transition gaining momentum, green H2 looks set to play a big part in decarbonising some of the planet’s most heavily polluting industries. The opportunities presented by this renewable resource are vast, with the number of green hydrogen jobs worldwide likely to surpass 5 million by 2050. 

Petroplan has a rich history in delivering renewable energy projects and stands ready to support both clients and candidates as investment in green hydrogen increases. Get in touch today to find out how you can benefit from the industry’s best talent and workforce solutions.