Harness the power of green hydrogen
The government’s focus on the green hydrogen focus economy is praiseworthy and forward looking; it now needs to review the policy, infrastructure and financial challenges
If India wants to mitigate the climate crisis, meet its international climate commitments, reduce its fuel import bill, strengthen its renewable energy sector and unlock green jobs, the nation must accelerate its efforts to decarbonise the economy. A critical cornerstone of this strategy will be the use of green hydrogen (produced by renewable energy through electrolysis of water) in key energy-intensive sectors such as fertilisers, refining, shipping, iron and steel, and transport. A new report released on Wednesday by NITI Aayog, Harnessing Green Hydrogen: Opportunities for Deep Decarbonisation in India, provides a pathway to accelerate the emergence of a green hydrogen economy, which is critical for India to achieve its net-zero ambitions by 2070. According to the report, green hydrogen demand in India is expected to rise fourfold by 2050, and the country has a distinct advantage in becoming one of the most competitive producers of green hydrogen. Crucially, green hydrogen will achieve cost parity with natural gas-based hydrogen by 2030.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi put India on the green hydrogen pathway on August 15, 2021, when he unveiled the Green Hydrogen Mission to make India the world’s largest exporter of green hydrogen with a five million tonne production target by 2030. To achieve the goals, India will have to bring down the costs and the NITI report suggests that medium-term price targets should be set to guide the industry toward making green hydrogen. There is also the issue of generating enough renewable energy to produce the fuel, investing in hydrogen infrastructure (it’s a highly reactive fuel, its storage and transportation will require technological innovation), and securing green financing to ensure the hydrogen economy is financially viable. The government’s focus on the green hydrogen focus economy is praiseworthy and forward looking; it now needs to review the policy, infrastructure and financial challenges.