India's Path to Green Hydrogen Supremacy


 Hemanth Jogi

Courtesy: stock images

India can capitalize on the availability of abundant renewable energy source

The world is shifting towards green and clean energy. To mitigate the menace of climate change, countries world over have committed to decarbonization. India, in this regard, has a significant role to play. India has set ambitious climate goals and has pledged to bring the carbon level down by 2030.

India is emerging as a global leader in the transition to renewable energy. Reducing the emission is very essential for India to put itself on the path to become carbon neutral by 2070. In 2022, 40% of the total energy capacity installed in India came from renewable energy sources. Taking into account the latest statistics released by the Power Ministry, as of April 2023, electricity generated from renewable sources accounts for 43% of the total energy produced. Being the third-largest consumer of electricity globally, India has set an objective to achieve 50 percent of total electricity generation from renewable sources. The current share of non-fossil fuel-based energy generation stands at 178.79 GW.

India's extraordinary progress in renewable energy is propelling it towards a sustainable future. The remarkable 396% increase in installed energy capacity over the last 8.5 years is a testament to India's commitment to a green future. In the first quarter of 2023, it registered a production of 178.79 gigawatts of energy. Moreover, in 2022, India experienced the highest year-on-year increase in renewable energy additions, reaching an impressive growth rate of 9.83%.

This milestone highlights the country's dedication to reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. Amidst the available renewable energy sources, Green Hydrogen is emerging as a front runner with immense potential to steer the world towards greener future. Time is ripe for India to tap on hydrogen's potential to play a significant role in combating the threatening climate change. Chairman of International Energy Aliance, during his visit to India last week, said that India could soon become a leader in Green Hydrogen. This comment by him demonstrates the capability India has towards pioneering the Green Hydrogen journey.

Green Hydrogen seized the focus during UN Climate Conference, COP26. It emerged as the key innovative solution to reduce carbon emanating from heavy manufacturing industries, Transportaion, shipping, aviation, etc. Participating countries made multiple commitments to harness its potential; many governments and industry leaders have already reached the consensus that Green Hydrogen is the pivotal solution for realizing carbon-neutral economy.

Government of India is already focused on increasing the Green Hydrogen production. There are multiple ways of producing Green Hydrogen. One of them is producing Hydrogen from the electrolysis of water. Mass-scale production is possible through electrolysis of water.

Hydrogen can play a major role in county's energy mix. However, there are challenges ahead to meet this goal. Hydrogen production from electrolysis need massive scale electrolysers. The global electrolyser manufacturing capacity sits at 8 GW per year and it is expected to increase to 65 GW by 2030. As India currently lacks a substantial infrastructure for large-scale electrolyser production, it is anticipated to encounter challenges in the generation of green hydrogen. The establishment of a robust domestic production capacity for electrolysers on a large scale holds the potential to significantly bring down the cost of hydrogen production by over 50 percent, thereby rendering it a more economically feasible and attractive alternative fuel option.

National Green Hydrogen Mission

The National Green Hydrogen Mission was approved by the Union Cabinet on 4 January 2022. After analyzing the exponential rise in the demand and adoption of hydrogen in different sectors (especially automobile) across the world. India realized the need for focusing towards the production of hydrogen domestically. Hence, it rolled out green hydrogen mission. The main objective of this mission is to make India the leading producer and supplier of green hydrogen in the world, reduction of dependency on fossil fuel, generation of employment and encouraging R&D. This encompasses a comprehensive framework that aims to facilitate the production, utilization, and deployment of green hydrogen.

By embracing green hydrogen, India seeks to leverage its abundant renewable energy potential and pave the way for a sustainable and low-carbon future. This mission will foster innovation, create employment opportunities, enhance energy security, and contribute to the overall economic advancement of the country.

The successful execution of this mission will open the door to a remarkable surge in the adoption of green hydrogen across various sectors. This momentum will position hydrogen as the predominant fuel in the near future, guaranteeing access to clean energy at an affordable cost for the second most populous nation. Furthermore, it will play a significant role in addressing energy security concerns and contributing to the mitigation of such challenges.

Author is a mass communication student at IIMC, New Delhi.
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