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Thursday, Jun 30, 2022
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Guest Column: Hydrogen To Drive India’s Energy Self-Reliance

Hydrogen To Drive India’s Energy Self-Reliance

Hydrogen to play key role in making India a net-zero economy

Hydrogen To Drive India’s Energy Self-Reliance
Hydrogen To Play Key Role In Indian Clean Energy Drive
Hydrogen To Drive India’s Energy Self-Reliance
outlookindia.com
2021-08-14T16:08:32+05:30

Hydrogen is an important resource of energy produced both naturally and chemical production and as a part of the multifaceted puzzle of a green energy transition, hydrogen plays a vital role.

It is one of the key factors for producing renewable energy and working as a carrier for the emission-free energy system of the future.  Hydrogen serves as the roadmap for today which shall eventually lead the economy towards a new high. 

Impacting industries by making things and processes cost-efficient, it also ensures that the nations relying solely on coal utility are supported in an eco-friendly way.  Production of renewable hydrogen is imperative to scale up the production of hydrogen and thus help governments, companies and others to seize this chance to enable clean hydrogen to fulfil its long-term potential. 

With growing economic activities, the energy demand too will increase in the form of electricity and transportation fuels. To cater to the increasing demand for fuels and with the absence of renewables, the dependence on fossil fuels rises which not only increases local pollution in the form of particulate matter emission that can pose serious health impacts, it also leads to CO2 emission, the primary cause of global warming. 

Hydrogen can prove to be a game changer. It has the potential to find its environmental benefits in sectors and applications like power generation, transportation and indoor heating in the commercial and residential sector. 

Hydrogen storage is a key enabling technology. None of the current technologies satisfies all the hydrogen storage attributes sought by manufacturers and end users.  On this front, Government-Industry coordination on research and development is needed to lower the costs, improve performance, and develop advanced materials. 

Once produced, hydrogen can be in the form of a compressed gas, cryogenic liquid or chemical, each requiring specific methods of storage essential to successful distribution. India can decarbonize its energy-intensive sectors such as industry, transport, and power by using green hydrogen. India given its terrestrial location and abundance of natural resources, favourable climatic and geographical conditions are among the best-suited countries to produce renewable energy from solar and wind. Use of green hydrogen that is produced locally can be a promising sustainable source of energy. 

Local production of hydrogen will significantly reduce the transportation fuel cost while reducing emissions. It will also explore possibilities in blue and green hydrogen production and storage for heavy-duty transportation of hydrogen use in industrial, steel, refinery, cement and logistics clusters. 

Producing hydrogen through renewable energy will not only be cost-effective but will also help India in reaching a step closer to net-zero carbon emission. Increasing the share of hydrogen in the country’s energy mix would take it towards greater self-reliance in its energy needs. 

India, as one of the world leaders in the production of renewable energy, is in a unique position to take a lead role in the development of a global hydrogen economy. The country's total renewable energy generation potential is estimated to be 1097.465 GW. 

Over the last seven years, India has invested more than $70 billion in renewable energy. This amounts to 1.89 % of the total investments received across all sectors during the same time period.

Hydrogen’s potential as a clean fuel, energy storage medium and renewable energy enabler has captured the attention of energy sector players, governments, environmental advocacy groups, and users. 

In February 2021, PM Narendra Modi, invited global firms to take advantage of the Rs 1.97 trillion (Production Linked Initiatives) PLI schemes for 13 sectors and expand their manufacturing in India. 

Against the backdrop of the proposed National Hydrogen Energy Mission supporting India's green energy initiatives with green hydrogen, several hydrogen initiatives and projects are emerging in India. 

Today, strong voices are advocating for hydrogen both from the private sector and from the government side, providing a clear momentum. Ninety countries, representing 80% of the world's GDP, are now committed to Net Zero targets.

More than 30 countries have concrete hydrogen strategies and have allocated $76 billion of government funding. India has some obvious competitive advantages that should be utilized to push the national hydrogen initiatives, both to accelerate the decarbonization of the world, as one of the greatest emitters of CO2, but also to take part in the value creation that lies ahead in the green energy transition. 

India is well positioned to take a lead role in the global hydrogen economy, with its extremely ambitious target of 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030. 

However, there are some challenges to succeed. The way forward would need a strong alliance between industries, academia, R&D institutes and government to catalyze the process of making hydrogen as the fuel of the future. 

The above alliance will have to work on challenging mindsets, bringing collaborators, finding alternatives and most important formulate guidelines and policies for harnessing the power of this green fuel for reducing the impacts of climate change and promote Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India). 

Government, in harmony with the private sector, should work cohesively and ensure that the investment in the energy market is inclined towards green hydrogen. Matching the global standards, the process will not only create a healthier today for businesses and minimise the impact of past record of anthropogenic interferences but also preserve the natural cover and secure the future with to-be introduced hydrogen practices such as transportation and storage along with tracing and eliminating the ill-impact of carbon footprint.

With a strategic vision and administration to make India more sustainable, establishing the green hydrogen system will aid the country in becoming energy-self reliant and achieve greater things across several verticals.

JPGupta is Chairman, Environment Committee, PHDCCI; MD, Geenstat Hydrogen India, a Scientist and  speaker at the 'International Climate Summit 2021’.

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