Need a holistic plan for switch to hydrogen-based energy sources: Experts
India needs a holistic plan to develop infrastructure and formulate policies to encourage the use of hydrogen-based energy sources, experts said in the 2021 edition of World Resources Institute’s (WRI) annual flagship event, Connect Karo, which highlights ways to make Indian cities inclusive, sustainable and climate forward.
In the session, ‘Hydrogen—a road map for India’, industry experts, researchers and policymakers discussed how hydrogen as a clean fuel can be pushed in India, and a holistic plan can ease various aspects related to its adoption, including production, transportation and research.
“With India announcing the Hydrogen Mission in the budget this year, it becomes important that we now come up with a holistic plan in becoming self-reliant. A strong policy and financial support in areas such as technology development, research and scaling up manufacturing capabilities will give India the push it needs in the area of clean fuels,” said OP Agarwal, CEO, WRI (India).
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi on Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government’s decision to set up the National Hydrogen Mission, with an aim for India to become the new global hub and the exporter of green hydrogen. “Not only will green hydrogen be the basis of green growth through green jobs but it will also set an example for the world towards clean energy transition,” he said.
Hydrogen has attracted international attention because it is a clean fuel which when consumed in a fuel cell, produces water as an end product.
A report released by WRI during the session on Monday pointed out that India needs to pioneer green hydrogen because renewable energy will enable the country to meet the emission concerns under the Paris Accord as well as help the country achieve self-reliance in energy.
The report also highlighted the current high costs in hydrogen production. It said that hydrogen production through electrolysis costs ₹433 per kg, and ₹280 per kg through the biomass microbial method. “...land acquisition and access to resources are still the biggest impediments to green hydrogen in India. Government specific mandates and long-term stable policy are required for building a stable hydrogen economy in India,” said Akshay Bharadwaj, general manager, Acme Solar Holding, which operates a hydrogen plant in Rajasthan.
According to the Union ministry of new and renewable energy website, the Centre has been supporting a broad based research development and demonstration programme on hydrogen energy and fuel. With respect to transportation, support to works at Banaras Hindu University, IIT Delhi, and Mahindra & Mahindra has led to development and demonstration of internal combustion engines, two wheelers, three wheelers, and mini buses that run on hydrogen fuel. Two hydrogen refuelling stations have been established, at Indian Oil R&D Centre, Faridabad, and National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurugram, the website said