Energy independence through hydrogen

GS 3, Energy Security.


The Green Hydrogen Policy of India, which was issued on February 17, 2022, addressed various major obstacles such as open access, waiver of interstate transmission charges, banking, timebound clearances, and so on, and is intended to significantly accelerate India’s energy transformation.

Current Situation:

India’s per capita energy consumption is around one-third that of the global average and one-twelfth that of the United States. Growing economic prosperity and growth will dramatically raise India’s energy demand, increasing import dependency.

The hydrogen fuel of the future is being hailed as India’s ticket to energy independence.

 Hydrogen has a varied role to play in the future energy environment, whether it is used for-

-Energy storage,

-Long-distance transportation, or

-Industrial decarbonization.

Significance of Hydrogen:

  • Hydrogen has a significant role to play in decarbonizing India’s transportation industry.
  •  The advantages of fuel cell vehicles over battery electric vehicles include faster fuelling and a longer driving range, making them perfect for long-distance transportation, which is a key limitation with LiIon batteries.
  •  In the industrial sector, hydrogen has the potential to decarbonize ‘hard-to-abate’ industries such as iron and steel, aluminium, copper, and so on. Producing fuels such as methanol, synthetic kerosene, and green ammonia is a significant opportunity.
  • According to The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India will require a total capacity of 192 GW to 224 GW of electrolysers by 2050, assuming that all of it is green hydrogen. In 2021, the global capacity of electrolysers will have just surpassed 300 MW. This means that by 2050, India would require an electrolyser capacity that is 640 to 750 times more than the current world capacity.

A five-step plan:

  • A five-step demand plan should be developed. A mandate should be provided to established companies like as refining and fertilisers, together with suitable incentives, in order to generate early demand.
  • Second, government regulations should incentivize firms producing low-emission hydrogen-based goods such as green steel and green cement.
  • Third, mixing hydrogen with natural gas can provide a significant increase, which can be supported by establishing blending requirements, laws, and marketing HCNG stations.
  • Furthermore, hydrogen fuel stations may be developed in specialised routes where long-distance transportation is common to encourage FCEVs.
  • Finally, carbon pricing should be implemented along the lines of European nations. A five-step supply strategy should also be developed.
  • To begin, R&D expenditure should be increased to bring its cost on line with that of fossil fuels.
  • Second, by investigating biogas conversion into hydrogen, the Sustainable Alternatives to Affordable Transportation (SATAT) project, which aims to create 15 MMT of compressed biogas, might be leveraged.
  • Third, a Viability Gap Funding (VGF) programme for hydrogen-based initiatives may be developed to commercialise and scale up fledgling technology.
  • Furthermore, in order to receive inexpensive finance, electrolyser production and hydrogen projects must be included in Priority Sector Lending (PSL).
  • Finally, because renewable energy tariffs and electrolyser prices are two major cost issues for green hydrogen, and India has one of the lowest renewable tariffs, the focus should be on lowering the cost of electrolysers through the implementation of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) plan.

This might help India become a global powerhouse for the production of electrolysers and renewable hydrogen. In terms of transportation, ammonia, which has a high energy density, might be pushed as a means of transportation. A hydrogen transportation system may potentially be developed using the natural gas infrastructure already in place.

Hydrogen transportation projects may also be included into the PM Gati Shakti Master Plan. Over the next several decades, hydrogen might totally revolutionise India’s energy economy, transforming it from an energy importer to a dominating exporter. India might sell to prospective import hubs such as Japan, South Korea, and others.

With hydrogen, India has the potential to lead the world in meeting the Paris Agreement’s aim of limiting global warming to 2°C over pre-industrial levels. Hydrogen may build the groundwork for a new India that is energy self-sufficient, a worldwide climate leader, and an international energy power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a clarion appeal of panchamrit (five objectives) at COP 26, with an ambitious ambition of achieving Net Zero by 2070. Hydrogen will undoubtedly play a critical part in India’s Net Zero ambitions and in transforming the country into an “Aatmanirbhar in energy.”

Green Hydrogen Policy:

The Ministry of Power (MoP) recently launched a Green Hydrogen Policy (GHP). It has been broadly welcomed by industry players since it aligns with the climate-action emphasis of India’s budget for 2022-23.

  • The programme has set a target of 5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of green hydrogen generation by 2030, which is more than 80% of the country’s current hydrogen demand.
  • India has become the 18th country to produce a complete Green Hydrogen Policy as a result. Ammonia and hydrogen are envisioned as future fuels that will replace fossil fuels.

What does the Green Hydrogen Policy entail?

The government is promising to establish up manufacturing zones for production, priority access to the ISTS (Inter-State Transmission System), and free transmission for 25 years if the production facility is completed by June 2025.

What is the Policy’s Importance?

  • Indian Oil Corp (IOC), India’s largest oil refiner, expects that GHP methods would cut the cost of green hydrogen generation by 40-50 percent.
  • Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia are critical for any country’s ecologically friendly energy security.
  • India has already committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, and green hydrogen will play an important role as a disruptive feedstock in the country’s shift away from oil and coal.


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