Green Hydrogen and Heat Pumps: Current Status and Comparative Analysis Results

The GreenVOCnet project partners conducted a comprehensive quantitative needs analysis between February and March 2024 in Greece, Spain, and Slovakia. The survey focused on identifying the skills and expertise required in the fields of green hydrogen and heat pumps, particularly in conjunction with renewable energy sources. Crucial data on current market requirements and needs were gathered from 173 respondents representing vocational education and training organizations, universities, enterprises, and associations.

The holistic approach we used, enabled the assessment of market demands, vocational education and training (VET) needs, and the identification of target groups for expertise in green hydrogen and heat pumps, alongside renewable energy sources. Below you can find the key findings and implications of the analysis.

Objective of Quantitative Need Analysis

The primary goal of the analysis was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the market dynamics and skill requirements essential for mitigating climate change and fostering sustainable development. Thus, in the first step, we identified market demands with the target group in order to meet VET organizational needs.


By assessing local market requirements for skills in green hydrogen and renewable energy (RE) heat pumps, we can better understand specific challenges and needs of businesses in these target sectors in each country. By analysing requirements, stakeholders can ensure that their efforts are aligned with actual market needs, facilitating more effective and relevant skills development.


Given the objectives of the project, it was necessary to identify the needs of VET organisations.  to adequately prepare young people for employment in the local market. Pinpointing the necessary resources and adapting the curriculum is essential to align VET programmes with market requirements. This would ensure that the training provided is up-to-date and relevant and equips students with the skills required by employers in an evolving market.


As part of the analysis, we defined the target group in terms of skill level. This can help in tailoring VET programmes to their specific needs. Our approach will ensure that the training provided is accessible and beneficial to those who need it most, thereby increasing the employability of individuals in the local market.

Industry of Operation

Within the analysis, we were also interested in the identification of the most crucial sectors. The ‘Education and Training’ sector is dominant across the three countries, while the ‘Renewable Energy’ shows significant involvement at 34 %. Other sectors such as ‘Construction/Installation’ and ‘Consulting/Project Management’ also make notable contributions.

Needs of Local Markets & Companies

Another step was to identify the skills and specialists needed in the most important areas.


The most important competencies in all three countries include:

  • Technical understanding of energy processes.
  • Basic knowledge of renewable energies.
  • General knowledge of hydrogen.


Knowledge of heating and cooling systems is highly valued by respondents in Slovakia (94 %) and Spain (88 %), but less so in Greece (38 %). Familiarity with physics and thermodynamics is important to 75 % of respondents in Slovakia and 68 % in Spain, compared to only 5 % in Greece. Other competencies are rated similarly across all regions.


Engineers with expertise in green technology and Technicians for maintenance and installation of hydrogen infrastructure are the most in-demand.

‘Experts in fuel cell technology’ receive the least support at 34 % in Spain.


There is a high demand for ‘Planners for sustainable heating and cooling systems’ and ‘Energy consultants for renewable energy and efficiency’ in Slovakia.

While in Spain, ‘Technicians specializing in heat pump installation’ and ‘Teachers specializing in thermal applications’ are the top demands.

Necessary Qualifications

In Spain and Slovakia, there is a strong preference for required qualifications, which is less pronounced in Greece. School and university qualifications hold little relevance for green hydrogen and heat pump sectors.

Virtual Laboratories

There is a strong commitment to using virtual labs supported by physical systems or interfaces. Completely virtual labs without physical equipment or interfaces are not preferred in any of the countries.

Challenges in Recruitment

As the primary issue we identified is the ‘lack of qualified employees’ in green hydrogen and heat pumps. Existing programs are rated as insufficient, and the regulatory framework is unclear in Greece and Slovakia, while the situation is better in Spain. However, Spain faces significant challenges with the limited interest of professionals in these technologies.

Current status on Vocational Qualifications

Awareness is highest in Slovakia at 50 %. However, approximately 30 % of respondents in all three countries reported no awareness of vocational qualifications in green hydrogen and heat pumps, indicating a need for increased awareness in all three countries.

Needs of Educational Institutions

The analysis also highlighted specific needs in professional qualifications. These included:  

  • Assessment of Current Vocational Qualifications
    Greece has the lowest rating, indicating a high need for further support. Slovakia and Spain received comparatively good evaluations, but all three countries require improvements.
  • Qualification Needs
    Respondents in all three countries consider ‘Updated curricula,’ ‘Improved equipment & laboratories,’ and ‘Partnerships with industry’ to be important. Slovakia has a particularly high need for ‘Professionals for teaching purposes.’


The analysis enabled us to identify the key insights to be taken into account in the above-mentioned sectors regarding target group:

  • The shortage of skilled workers and inefficient existing training programs need to be tackled.
  • Existing vocational qualifications should be improved.
  • Awareness of professional qualifications in these technologies, which is a key aim of GreenVOCnet, has to be increased.


Since VET is the primary qualification for the green hydrogen and heat pump market, the emphasis should be placed on updated curricula, improved equipment & laboratories, as well as industry partnerships. Moreover, there is a wide endorsement for the use of virtual labs with physical support. Customizable qualifications are necessary to meet the shared challenges and varying needs of the countries.

All in all, these findings provide a basis for further qualitative in-depth interviews with stakeholders, which we plan to carry out by the end of June 2024. Also, new qualifications in these key technologies are being developed at the moment as part of GreenVOCnet to meet the requirements of each sector.

In essence, through the rigorous quantitative need analysis, we have empowered ourselves to address the pressing challenges posed by climate change and enhance vocational training for a greener and more prosperous future.

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