India aims for $100B hydrogen investments

India now consumes the third most energy in the world (7% of the world’s CO2 emissions), and this trend is only anticipated to continue.

There is a greater need to implement alternatives in order to ensure national energy security, along with the government’s intensified efforts to enforce strict efficiency requirements. Because of its low oil and gas output, India has historically had to rely on imported fuels to meet its needs.

However, following the COVID-19 epidemic, nations have come to understand the necessity of diversifying their geographic reach and energy consumption. India is now aiming to become a global leader in the green hydrogen industry after having remarkable success in stepping up efforts for solar and wind growth.

The Green Hydrogen Mission was started by the Indian government to assist the country’s goal of producing 5 MT of green hydrogen by 2030 and achieving self-sufficiency (Aatmanirbhar) in terms of supplying its energy demands (2021).

The ambitious Perform, Achieve, and Trade (PAT) program for improving industrial energy efficiency across 13 intensive energy sectors, as well as an increase in the proportion of electric vehicles (EVs) in both public and private transportation, are some of the targeted strategies to achieve this aim.

To promote the transition to green hydrogen, the Indian government suggested investing INR 800 Cr. by 2024 on pilot projects, infrastructure and supply chain, research and development, laws, and public awareness. Any new renewable energy facilities put up for green hydrogen generation before July 2025 will be eligible for 25 years of free power under the recently created Green Energy Corridor Project. This would initially fund the development of 20 GW-capacity RE power plants throughout the seven states included in the project: Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

The switch to green energy in India would not only lessen the nation’s reliance on imports but also considerably improve air quality. The nation’s first green hydrogen pilot plant, with an installed capacity of 10 kilograms per day, was launched in Assam by Oil India Limited (OIL). The facility uses a 100kW Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) electrolyzer array, new technology in India. Likewise, h2e Power

An electrolyzer facility is also being built in Pune by the clean-tech start-up Systems. The h2e steam electrolysis system, which is based on solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology, offers higher efficiency and cheaper on-site hydrogen generation costs. India still needs substantial expenditures to improve infrastructure and progress technology in order to overcome obstacles related to high prices, supportive policies, and luring investors, despite numerous efforts.

India will need to invest roughly $100 billion in order to produce MTPA’s green hydrogen. By doing this, carbon emissions would be decreased by 1.6%, natural gas imports would be decreased by 68%, and yearly energy import costs would be reduced by roughly INR 40,000 Cr. Since renewable energy is the most affordable in India, evidence suggests that doing so will reduce the Levelized cost of renewable electricity (LCOE).

The cost of production for a wind-based hydrogen plant is higher than for a solar-based system due to the wind-based plant’s double storage capacity and seasonality, according to analysis from a spatial analysis study carried out in India to understand the different models for setting up a hydrogen plant.

However, compared to a solar-powered plant, the hybrid arrangement looks to need less than half the size of hydrogen storage. However, expenses need to be much lower for a business strategy to be successful. There is a requirement to evacuate extra power to the grid at the LCOE values since solar-based plants are more common in India and their limited energy is substantially greater than that of hybrid plants.

In favorable regions, there is a good chance that in 2030, the price of green hydrogen will fall from $3.5-4.5/kg to somewhere between $2.4 and 3.6/kg of hydrogen. The price of storage and electrolyzer technologies will need to be drastically reduced for this to happen, though. In order to sustain the full green hydrogen value chain, from the expense of creating appropriate infrastructure to enough storage, it is imperative to enhance investment capacity.

For the green hydrogen industry to accelerate the adoption of the technology, a highly qualified and specialized workforce is required. As a result, organizations like IIT must concentrate on educating and upskilling a sizable portion of the nation’s young in this area. Some of the possible sectors and states must now develop an action plan outlining the adoption of new technology as their next step. Therefore, it will be crucial to concentrate R&D efforts on finding sustainable and cost-effective models for green hydrogen.

Importantly, investment facilitation will assist India in taking the lead in gaining access to low-cost climate finance through multilateral institutions or by utilizing bilateral agreements with wealthy countries to get a portion of the $ 100 billion/year promises made during COP16.

India’s move to green energy can benefit from Germany’s concentration on “green hydrogen,” which has zero CO2 emissions and is produced using power from extra renewable resources like solar, wind, etc. It would be intriguing to watch how India uses technology to more effectively integrate its operations and information in order to facilitate a successful transition to low-carbon operations.