Interview: India to become a hub for green hydrogen exports

India’s government has said that it would drastically cut carbon emissions by the year 2070.

Many questions have been raised in response to this announcement. What will happen to the coal and crude oil sectors, for example? Is India technically and economically capable of entirely replacing the energy source? Will India continue to be an energy importer even in the clean energy era? Will the country’s massive coal reserves be tapped at some point? What steps will we take to achieve this goal? Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy gives the answers.

What will your ministry’s involvement be in Net Zero 2070, and how is it getting ready to go forward?
You are all aware that Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Net Zero-2070 during the CAP-26 meeting in Glasgow, with the goal of entirely eliminating carbon emissions in India by the year 2070. In terms of the Ministry of Power and Renewables, it will play a significant role. We began the project with the broad scope of the goal in mind. If we solely consider the electrical industry, we will have the potential to create five lakh megawatts of electricity from renewable (non-conventional) sources by 2030. In order to do this, we will need to increase renewable energy capacity by three lakh megawatts (MW) during the next eight to nine years. Currently, we have 1.50 lakh MW of power production capacity in this sector, with another 63 thousand MW under construction. This objective will be met. The second major project we are working on is developing a national policy for the Green Hydrogen Mission. The cabinet has already discussed this policy. We will begin implementing the new strategy in April 2022, with the goal of completing all equipment and technological capacity increases within two years.

What will be the goal of the Green Hydrogen Mission, and how will it be carried out?
As part of the GreenHydrogen Mission, green hydrogen fuel will be employed in all businesses that use polluting fuels. Currently, eighty to nine industries are responsible for the majority of pollution in the country. The refinery industry is one of them, while mobility includes automobiles, cement, steel, various fertilizer industries, and chemical industries. Green hydrogen will gradually replace conventional fuel sources in each of these areas. A staged plan will be developed for each sector. If we look at the refining business, for example, green hydrogen will account for half of their entire energy demand by 2030. By 2035, hydrogen-based fertilizers will account for 75% of the green fertilizer market, powered entirely by renewable energy. We also want to build two DAP fertilizer factories with a combined annual output capacity of 6 lakh tonnes. In the car industry, development has begun on a number of fronts at the same time, and by 2030, most electric vehicles will be available for purchase in India. The process of establishing cohesiveness within all of the government’s ministries involved in this has also begun. We are optimistic that the effort of laying the groundwork for the Net Zero-2070 targets will be finished by 2030. However, by the year 2025, 5 percent green hydrogen will be used in a wide range of sectors. By the year 2030, the project will be completed. However, by the year 2025, 5 percent green hydrogen will be used in a wide range of sectors. By the year 2030, the project will be completed. However, by the year 2025, 5 percent green hydrogen will be used in a wide range of sectors.

How difficult will it be technically, and will we not end up as an importer of new fuels such as fossil fuels (crude and gas)?
Technically, it will be difficult, but India has demonstrated in recent years that it is capable of doing historic work in the field of environmental preservation. In the new era, we must also become an energy-exporting country, not energy importing one, which is a key goal of our Green Hydrogen Mission. You can see how serious we are by the fact that we will become the largest manufacturer of the much-needed electrolyzer for green hydrogen in the first year. The construction of 8800 MW electrolyzer production plants will commence at the start of the next fiscal year. India will produce green hydrogen not only for its own use but also for export. Green hydrogen will be required all across the world to replace present fuel sources. It is easily available from India to Japan and other wealthy nations.

Is this something we’re doing because developed countries are pressuring us to?
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no The dedication of India to environmental conservation has been demonstrated. Only India, among the top 20 economies in the world, has met the Paris Agreement’s targets in terms of economic development. Other countries only converse. Let me give you an example from the electrolaser world. The world’s capacity for constructing electrolysers is just 2000 MW, however we will complete the work for an electrolyser with an 8800 MW capacity in the first round. I can think of a number of instances when the rich countries’ performance is woeful. We’ll conduct the effort of extracting carbon from released carbon dioxide since there are some businesses where polluting fuels are the only option. Let me tell you that it does have technology, but it is only utilized in Canada and on a very small scale. India is going to put in a lot of effort in this area.

So, will India ever be able to extract a significant portion of its coal reserves?
Answer: Yes, that is conceivable. Coal-fired power plants presently account for 60% of the country’s total electrical capacity, although this will drop to 35% by 2030. In the previous five years, 166 power stations with a total capacity of 13,382 MW have been shut down. However, every precaution will be taken to ensure that the country’s economic success is not hampered by a lack of energy. The work on generating electricity from renewable sources and nuclear power plants will be expedited.

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