• September 6, 2022

India plans to become green hydrogen giant to cut energy imports

India plans to become green hydrogen giant to cut energy imports

India is planning to expand green hydrogen production to curb its dependence on energy imports. New Delhi is aiming for an annual production capacity of 25 million tons by 2047.

Green hydrogen is expected to play a major role in decarbonizing heavy industries, including oil refineries, steel mills and fertilizer plants. India’s current output of the fuel is relatively low and comes from a handful of pilot projects.

While green hydrogen is seen as a potential panacea to cut emissions, there are still big challenges in scaling up the technology and making it cost-effective. It’s not certain as yet if demand growth will materialize, and the fuel may not become the first choice in transport and industry.

The potential to generate low-cost renewable energy in India, the world’s third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has been a driving force behind the government’s carbon-free hydrogen ambitions. India’s goal of getting to net zero by 2070 has found support from business tycoons, including Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, as well as state-run energy giants like NTPC Ltd. and Indian Oil Corp.

Adani has pledged to spend $70 billion on clean energy assets, including green hydrogen, while Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., one of India’s most valuable companies, plans to add production of solar panels, electrolyzers for clean hydrogen and rechargeable batteries. French oil giant TotalEnergies SE has agreed to partner with Adani on hydrogen in India.

The government is considering more ways to spur the sector, including offering production-linked incentives to make electrolyzers.

The green hydrogen targets are part of a broader strategy for 2047, the centenary year of India’s independence. The plan also includes measures to improve energy efficiency, overhaul power markets and expand manufacturing of renewable energy equipment.

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