India’s Hydrogen Potential
India is set on a path to enhance its green energy portfolio with ‘green hydrogen’ as a source of zero-carbon energy.
Hydrogen plays a crucial role to decarbonize various sectors including transport, buildings, chemicals, refining, oil and gas industry and power generation and to achieve climate neutrality in the long term.
The hydrogen technology helps increase flexibility in energy systems. It has the capability to serve as a large-scale clean energy storage medium that aids power generation from renewable sources.
Besides, green hydrogen production from renewable energy is ought to become cheaper with the latter costs dropping significantly throughout the years. Improving electrolyzer technologies could make "green" hydrogen cost competitive by 2030.
The global hydrogen market generated a revenue of about $200bn in the year 2021. There is a growth opportunity of $100bn in the market during the period of 2022-2027.
The potential for hydrogen in India is immense. The demand for hydrogen is around 6 million tonnes (mt) per annum, according to TERI. It needs to go up to 28 mt by 2050 and 40 mt by 2060 if the net-zero carbon target is to be achieved. Potentially, hydrogen can also save over $160bn worth of imports for India on crude, natural gas/LNG, coal, petroleum products and ammonia.
India is taking major strides to lead the transition from fossil fuels to green and clean energy and also become a major resource of Solar and Hydrogen Energy in the coming decades. The union government has recently announced the first Green Hydrogen/Ammonia policy wherein the government is offering sops to manufacture green fuels.
All the major Indian companies are embarking on clean energy and green hydrogen production. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is building an electrolyzer factory for green hydrogen, and a fuel cell factory for converting hydrogen into motive and stationary power. This will be a big boost to the country’s nascent hydrogen economy. The company plans to deploy close to 3 GW of solar power to produce 400,000 tonnes of green hydrogen.
India’s top electricity generator, NTPC, has aggressive and ambitious renewable energy plans. The company is targeting to be the largest green hydrogen producer and provider in India, says its Executive Director. The company has set a 60 GW renewable energy capacity target by 2032, which would constitute nearly 50% of its overall power generation capacity and a substantial part of this RE would be utilized to produce green hydrogen, and subsequently the derivatives which could be green ammonia and green methanol.
Likewise, other major Indian firms including GAIL, IOCL, Oil India, L&T, BPCL and more are moving ahead with plans to tap green hydrogen business to provide carbon-free future.
Green hydrogen technology is showing real signs of promise to boost India’s energy economy in the coming years.