As climate change and carbon emissions pose an ever-increasing threat to our planet, the global focus on renewable energy sources has intensified. Among these sources, green hydrogen and ammonia have emerged as crucial players in the quest for sustainability. India, with its ambitious Green Hydrogen Mission, is poised to become a major exporter of clean hydrogen fuel.
However, to realize this vision and secure a leadership position in the green energy race, the country must address key challenges and seize opportunities in the international market.
Green hydrogen, produced through water electrolysis, offers a clean fuel option for various sectors, from manufacturing to transportation. Similarly, green ammonia is created by combining green hydrogen and nitrogen from the air. These green energy carriers promise a cleaner, greener future, but their widespread adoption requires aggressive strategies, significant investments, and robust infrastructure.
The Indian government’s recent announcement of a Rs 19,744-crore investment to produce 5 million metric tonnes of clean hydrogen fuel by 2030 showcases the country’s commitment to the green energy transition. With global demand for green hydrogen estimated to reach about 530 million metric tonnes by 2050, India’s export market potential is significant. However, the country must compete with aggressive policy support enjoyed by the US and the Middle East, making the race to become a leading green hydrogen exporter a challenging one.
The Middle East and North African (MENA) region have emerged as frontrunners in the green hydrogen supply race. Countries like Morocco are spearheading green hydrogen and ammonia projects, capitalizing on abundant solar power resources. The Gulf nations enjoy a competitive edge with solar, wind, and green hydrogen production costs significantly lower than the global average. As the leader in green hydrogen initiatives, MENA countries are positioned to secure a substantial share of the export market.
While India boasts immense potential in renewable energy, it faces several critical challenges. Land availability for setting up power and water infrastructure for green hydrogen projects is a pressing concern. Robust transmission connectivity and energy banking support must be established in collaboration with central and state governments. Additionally, international market access requires certification programs like Guarantee of Origin (GO) to ensure the green attributes of Indian green hydrogen.
To bolster the green hydrogen sector, the Indian government must recognize it under the harmonized list of infrastructure sub-sectors. This step can attract foreign investments and support through the Foreign Venture Capital Investor (FVCI) route. Policy formation for green hydrogen purchase obligations in the domestic market can drive natural renewable energy consumption. Furthermore, establishing G2G arrangements with major economies for importing quotas can elevate India’s position in the global market.
With the clock ticking on climate change, India’s journey towards sustainable energy leadership demands agility and swift implementation of policies. A mere start is not enough; the nation must stay attuned to global developments and act in harmony with international initiatives. The pursuit of net-zero goals is not a mere race; it is a fight for our survival.
India’s aspirations to become a major green hydrogen exporter are well-founded, given its vast renewable energy potential. As the global demand for green energy rises, the country must leverage its strengths and address challenges head-on. By fostering robust infrastructure, implementing favorable policies, and collaborating with international partners, India can carve its path to sustainable energy leadership, safeguarding our planet for future generations.