- Projection of India’s energy needs & where H fits in.
- Very briefly mention the benefits of H.
- Mention the steps to be taken on demand-supply side.
India’s Green Hydrogen Policy 2022 has addressed several critical challenges like open access, waiver of inter-state transmission charges, time-bound clearances, etc., which are expected to further boost India’s clean energy transition.
India’s per-capita energy consumption is about 1/3rd of the global average, which is slated to increase with increasing growth & economic prosperity. India’s increased energy appetite accentuating import dependence can make India’s energy security vulnerable to global price volatility. The new age fuel – Hydrogen can thus be a panacea for India’s futuristic energy landscape. In 2020, India’s hydrogen consumption was around 7 MT, which TERI anticipates will leapfrog to 28 MT in 2050.
Benefits of Hydrogen: Hydrogen can be stored on a large-scale & for longer duration. It can be a great balancer to the variable renewable energy. It will complement & accelerate renewables into clean energy transition, thereby helping to achieve 500 GW renewable capacity by 2030. H can decarbonise the industrial sector, with huge prospect to produce fuels like methanol, synthetic kerosene and green ammonia.
Thus the following steps on the demand-supply front can ensure ramping up India’s H-technology :
On the demand side: (a) to create an initial demand, a mandate should be given industries like refining & fertilizers, that are energy intensive, with adequate incentives; (b) industries manufacturing low emission H-based products such as green steel & green cement need to be encouraged; (c) blending H with natural gas can be a big booster, with regulations promoting H-CNG stations; (d) Hydrogen fuel plants can be planned on dedicated corridors; and (e) carbon tariffs must be introduced to discourage fossils.
On the supply side: (a) Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme with a target to produce 15 MMT of compressed biogas can be leveraged by exploring biogas conversion into hydrogen; (b) to commercialize & scale-up H-technologies, Viability Gap Funding Scheme can be introduced; (c) Assuming 25% export capacity, India will need 35 MT by 2050, which may require 192 GW – 224 GW of electrolysers by 2050. So, for affordable financing in electrolyser manufacturing, projects need to be brought under PSL; (d) thrust should be on reducing electrolysers’ cost by implementing PLI Scheme to make India a global manufacturing hub; (e) green ammonia having high energy density can be promoted as transportation fuel. H-transportation projects may be integrated with PM Gati Shakti Master Plan.
These steps can transform India’s energy ecosystem by shifting trajectory from an energy importer to an exporter over the next few decades. By harnessing this, India can be a global climate leader and international energy power. Hydrogen fulfils India’s four Es – energy security, energy sustainability, energy access and economic opportunity. H will play a decisive role in India’s Net Zero ambition by 2070 and in making India ‘Aatmanirbhar in energy’.