Indian Green Hydrogen

By 2030, India will require 115 GW of renewable energy and 50 billion liters of fresh water to produce 5 million tonnes of Green Hydrogen (GH2). Let’s understand how Green Hydrogen can help India achieve it’s net zero targets. (Green Hydrogen in Net Zero)
By 2030, India hopes to produce 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen (GH2).
The GH2 supply chain has 41 shovel-ready projects, of which 31 are commercial and 10 are R&D projects, according to the EY, SED Fund research. In the period 2018–19, the nation used 5.5 million tonnes of grey hydrogen, mostly as a fuel for the industries of fertilizer and crude oil refining.

India announced the beginning of its “National Hydrogen Mission” in August 2021 to scale up the production of green hydrogen and harmonize its energy transformation initiatives with international best practices in technology, policy, and legislation. The Mission intends to assist the government with achieving net zero targets and transforming India into a center for green hydrogen. By 2030, 5 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen generation are to be achieved. The Government of India’s Ministry of Power (MoP) announced the “Green Hydrogen Policy” in February 2022 as the first piece in a set of policy instruments to support ongoing efforts in this direction.

The modern alkaline electrolyzers that create 1 kg of hydrogen most efficiently use about 50 kWh of power and 10 liters of fresh water. Alkaline electrolysis would therefore require 50 billion liters of fresh water and 250 billion kWh of electrical supply from renewable sources, mostly wind and solar PV, for India to produce 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen target by 2030. This is equals to 115 GW of renewable energy generation at 25% CUF (for hybrid round-the-clock supply). As of February 2022, the installed capacity for renewable energy generating over all of India was 106 GW.

The green hydrogen market in India is still in its early phases of development. To remain competitive beyond 2030, the green hydrogen supply chain needs to innovate and attain adequate economies of scale. More crucially, accelerating investments to expand the supply chain depends on strong, dependable demand for green hydrogen through 2030. India may become a regional center for exporting green hydrogen at competitive costs and command a respectable portion of the global hydrogen demand of 200 million tonnes by 2030 by utilizing low-cost indigenous renewable electricity produced at scale.

Like any other fossil fuel commodity, Green Hydrogen (GH2) has a complicated supply chain that includes production using renewable energy sources, storage, transportation, distribution, and handling. In addition, additional infrastructure is required for safe handling and operation due to the physical characteristics of hydrogen. For several potential end uses, including converting hydrogen gas into electricity and vice versa, ammonia, methanol, and other fuels, technology and infrastructure may be required. Purity, pressure, and volume requirements of particular industries and applications must be met via GH2 production, storage, and delivery.

Tipping points for cost competitiveness of Green Hydrogen

According to EY’s “Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index,” India continues to rank in the top three markets globally thanks to its robust renewable energy marketplaces and supportive policy environment (RECAI). India might become a major global hub for the production and export of goods based on green hydrogen by utilizing low-cost intermittent renewable electricity produced at scale.

Costs for producing grey H2 (steam methane reforming) range from 75 to 150 INR/kg depending on natural gas prices. Given that this fossil fuel has a lesser heating value than other commodities, domestic retail CNG/PNG costs range from about 40 to 90 INR/kg, translating to about 1-2 INR/MJ of energy.

The rate and scope of the adoption of GH2 will depend on when we reach parity with these commodity prices. This calls for increasing GH2 demand in a way that facilitates supply chain economies of scale, indigenizing the supply chain, and improving technology to increase the efficacy of GH2 production and transformations with earth’s abundant raw resources. Investments in R&D plans are essential for the supply chain indigenization of technology.

The cost-effectiveness of GH2 storage and delivery systems must also be addressed in government interventions and pilot initiatives.

Over the past ten years, the cost of utility-scale intermittent renewable power generation has decreased, currently stabilizing between INR 2 and 3.0 / kWh. This price excludes transmission, wheeling, banking, and other fees associated with regional state laws. Furthermore, this downward trend is anticipated to change shortly due to a rise in global commodity costs, import taxes, and domestic policy pledges to encourage the adoption of domestically produced PV cells, modules, etc.

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The original author of this article is Mr. Somesh Kumar (EY India Power & Utilities Leader). The original source of this content is available at EY platform