India’s Commitment to be Net Zero by 2070
India has announced its goal to reach net-zero target for carbon emissions by 2070 and intent to increase non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CO2 accounts for 76% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, of which 65% is a direct result of fossil fuel and industrial processes.
Between 2005 and 2020, total global CO2 emissions increased by 50% to almost 3.5 billion tonnes, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2021. It stresses that countries are not on track to keep climate change below 2 degrees, or even keep the 1.5 degrees target within reach.
To act co-operatively to overcome the immense challenge posed by global warming and the pressing need to reduce carbon emissions, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) together with international companies has launched the global ‘Alliance for Industry Decarbonization’.
Francesco La Camera, Irena director-general said “This Alliance stands for the growing commitment of global industry to act on decarbonization and unlock opportunities that come with a green industrialization through renewables and other transition-related technologies like green hydrogen.”
In 2021, per capita carbon emissions in Asia were 4.1 tonnes, which is among some of the world’s highest on a per capita basis. To address climate change and become more self-reliant for energy needs, India needs to focus on cultivating non-fossil power sources, new mobility solutions and industrial green hydrogen.
To accelerate energy transition and scale up the production of green hydrogen, a framework needs to be put in place. For India to achieve its net-zero target, green hydrogen industrial production should reach 7 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) by 2040 and 114 MMTPA by 2070. By 2030, India’s demand for hydrogen is expected to be approximately 12 MMTPA, implying that green hydrogen will need to account for 80-100% of the additional requirement.
According to IRENA, the industrial sector alone accounts for 28% of total global greenhouse gases. In India, the increase in demand for industrial green hydrogen is largely driven by the refinery and fertilizer sectors, followed by cement, iron and steel and chemical sectors. These sectors account for 30% of the country’s overall GHG emissions.
Today, electrolyzers constitute about 33-75% of the total hydrogen production cost, depending upon the technology and sourcing. Domestically produced, cheaper electrolyzers combined with ultra-low cost renewables backed by clear policy support will help in achieving India’s green hydrogen adoption.
The private sector participation in clean energy projects and technology deployment along with government support will be a key factor in the country’s drive towards net zero.