International Climate Summit sees launch of national hydrogen portal, sets stage for net-zero goal

Published on Sep 03, 2021 02:18 PM IST

The International Climate Summit saw the coming together of India and Norway in forging a partnership in green hydrogen production.

A power-generating windmill turbine is pictured here for representation. Climate scientists believe wind power could make it possible to produce hydrogen without emitting greenhouse gases as cheaply as is currently feasible with fossil fuel energy. (Representational Image / REUTERS)
A power-generating windmill turbine is pictured here for representation. Climate scientists believe wind power could make it possible to produce hydrogen without emitting greenhouse gases as cheaply as is currently feasible with fossil fuel energy. (Representational Image / REUTERS)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

India hosted the International Climate Summit 2021 in New Delhi on Friday to get the ball rolling for the country’s journey towards a carbon-free energy ecosystem and become a key global player in renewable energy.

Hosted by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Invest India, in collaboration with NITI Aayog, environment, forest & climate change ministry, CSIR, and the Union government’s department of science & technology, the International Climate Summit 2021 focused on the country’s ambitious Green Hydrogen Mission and forging partnerships in ramping up the transition towards net-zero carbon emissions through adopting clean energy.

The summit began with a video excerpt from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on India’s 75th Independence Day speech this year, where he announced the government's decision to set up the National Hydrogen Mission, aimed at making India the new global hub and exporter of green hydrogen.

Speaking virtually at the summit next, Norwegian petroleum and energy minister Tina Bru said, “Green Hydrogen has the potential to realise low to zero-emission solutions in the transportation, industry, and shipping sectors thus opening up new opportunities in these sectors.”

She said that climate change has no borders and the common challenge is to cut emissions, for which the world needs to come together and cooperate transcending borders.

“India is the world's third-biggest consumer and producer of energy with rapidly growing consumption in the decades to come, we commend the efforts of the Indian government in launching ambitious targets for developing clean energy. Closer collaboration between Indian and Norwegian companies can definitely accelerate our steps towards a common low-emission future,” Bru added. Norway was the partner country for Friday’s summit.

Also Read | The costs of a net zero emission target

Modi has set the country a target of 2047 — when India would celebrate its 100th Independence day — to achieve self-reliance in energy production through a mix of electric mobility, gas-based economy, doping ethanol in petrol to make the country a hub for hydrogen production.

Minister of state (independent charge) for earth sciences and science & technology, Jitendra Singh India stressed the urgency to address climate challenges through consolidated approach and timely interventions while emphasising on shifting to cleaner options like green hydrogen as a potential energy source for a more sustainable future.

"Our undivided energies should be invested to attain our aim of minimising emission and that is only possible if we adopt a proactive approach. Green hydrogen will not only enable us to reduce emissions but also help India across several verticals and align with Prime Minister Modi's vision of our nation being self-reliant. It's about time that we collectively work towards making India a Green Hydrogen Hub, not just for ourselves but for the bigger picture where we are considerate of the world as a whole. We have the capability and the capacity to facilitate clean hydrogen energy for the world; this is the appropriate time to get into action and create a world worth thriving in,” the minister said.

Jitendra Singh chose the occasion to launch the National Hydrogen Portal - www.greenhydrogen-India.com. It is a platform that will now become a one-stop information source for research, production, storage, transportation, and application of hydrogen across the country and technology.

Meanwhile, Union environment minister Ashwini Chaubey stressed the need for creating a sustainable platform for clean energy.

“We intend to achieve 40% of non-fossil usage by 2030, making a significant stride towards improving the current state of the country and establishing a green hydrogen ecosystem to smoothen the path to responsible living,” he said.

The environment minister said the time has come to redirect our attention towards creating and sustaining an alternate source of energy and mandating it for developing and developed nations alike to take the onus to nurture the health and wellbeing of each one of us on this planet.

Reliance Industries managing director Mukesh Ambani delivered the keynote address next in which he said that India is determined to achieve 'Azaadi' (freedom) from dependence on fossil energy and become 'Aatmanirbhar' (self-reliance) in new and renewable energy. ”Since climate change is undoubtedly the most daunting challenge facing human civilisation today, we should rapidly transition to a new era of clean, green, and renewable energy,” Ambani said.

He stressed that by investing in smart microgrids, efficient storage solutions, and smart meters, we can enable individuals, neighbourhoods, and communities to become both consumers and producers of energy. Green hydrogen, zero-carbon energy will play a fundamental role in the world's decarbonisation plans.

Ambani outlined Reliance’s plan to become a net-zero carbon company by 2035, in line with India’s target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Also Read | By switching on the sun, Railways can prevent 7mn tonnes of carbon emissions

“We have prepared a new roadmap which will be the next big value creation engine for Reliance and India. We have started developing the Dhirubhai Ambani green energy giga-complex over 5,000 acres in Jamnagar, Gujarat. It will be amongst the largest, integrated renewable energy manufacturing facilities anywhere in the world,” Dhirubhai Ambani said. “Over the next 3 years, we will invest over 75,000 crores in these initiatives to create a fully integrated end-to-end renewable energy ecosystem for the Indians.”

Reliance aims to produce 100GW of solar energy by 2030 out of India's goal to reach 450 GW.

International Climate Summit 2021 witnessed the coming together of policymakers, academicians, and industry experts from Norway and India in their quest for green energy solutions and to arrive at a consensus in matters pertaining to climate change and sustainability.

Christian Valdes Carter, director, Innovation Norway India, said India is among the best-suited countries to produce green hydrogen, and stressed that Norway and India have partnered to promote a green economy.

“Norway has more than 50 different hydrogen projects at various stages of development in 50 different places,” he said.

Also read | How India can be a $11 trillion economy by 2070 from positive climate action

The summit addressed climate concerns and essayed to build a dialogue for India's transition to clean energy. It encouraged all stakeholders to put in collaborative efforts to devise solutions pertaining to hydrogen and its applications as a green fuel.

From producing and storing to transferring pressurized and liquefied hydrogen, aspects of the entire value chain were deliberated upon during the event. The global event also witnessed significant discussions on exploring possibilities in blue and green hydrogen production and storage for heavy-duty transportation of hydrogen used in industrial, steel, refinery, cement, and logistics clusters.

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