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Green Hydrogen in India: Navigating Challenges on the Road to 5 Million Tonnes

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In a groundbreaking collaboration, the World Economic Forum and Bain & Company recently unveiled a transformative report, “Green Hydrogen: Enabling Measures Roadmap for Adoption in India.” The report’s focal point is the imperative need to reduce the production cost of Green Hydrogen in India to USD 2 per kg or less, echoing the targets set in the National Green Hydrogen Mission.

Rising Energy Demand and Net Zero Commitment

India, currently the world’s third-largest economy in terms of energy needs, anticipates a staggering 35% surge in energy demand by 2030. As of 2022, the energy import bill has reached USD 185 billion, signaling the urgency for sustainable energy solutions. Against this backdrop, India declared its commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2070 at the COP26 conference in 2021, leading to the launch of the National Green Hydrogen Mission in 2022.

Green Hydrogen’s Crucial Role

Recognizing the critical role of Green Hydrogen in meeting energy security needs and reducing emissions in challenging sectors, the Indian government has allocated approximately USD 2.3 billion in incentives between 2022 and 2030. Currently, India produces 6.5 MMTPA of hydrogen, primarily Gray Hydrogen derived from fossil fuels, contributing to CO2 emissions. However, green hydrogen production demands a robust supply of renewable energy, aligning with India’s renewable energy potential.
Despite its significance, green hydrogen in India faces challenges, with notable production expected only after 2027. Constraints on both the supply and demand sides, including production and delivery costs, pose hurdles to widespread adoption.

Blueprint for Evolution: Cost Parity and Infrastructure Development

The report outlines a comprehensive blueprint for the evolution of green hydrogen in India. To achieve cost parity with grey hydrogen, currently costing around USD 4–5/kg, the report stresses the need for the production cost of green hydrogen to reach the benchmark goal of USD 2/kg. Strategies include direct subsidies, long-term policy clarity, and support for indigenous electrolyzer technology development.
In addition to production costs, the report emphasizes the impact of infrastructure expenses on the overall cost of green hydrogen. Proposed interventions include developing green hydrogen production clusters and long-term investments in infrastructure, such as pipelines for efficient transport.

Meeting National Targets

An integral element highlighted in the report is the imperative for green hydrogen production to achieve cost parity with grey hydrogen. This becomes particularly crucial to meet the ambitious target outlined in the National Green Hydrogen Mission of producing at least 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen per annum by 2030.
Hydrogen, especially green hydrogen, emerges as a pivotal source of energy globally, offering high energy content and minimal emissions. As the world grapples with an energy crisis and the looming threat of climate change, green hydrogen stands out as a beacon for a sustainable and clean energy future.

Conclusion: Charting a Course for a Green Tomorrow

In conclusion, the report not only underscores the urgency of India’s transition to green hydrogen but also provides a strategic roadmap. By addressing production costs, infrastructure challenges, and achieving cost parity with grey hydrogen, India can pave the way for a green tomorrow. The National Green Hydrogen Mission’s target of producing 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen per annum by 2030 remains a guiding light towards a sustainable and energy-secure future.