India’s energy sector is undergoing a significant transformation as the country strives to balance economic growth with environmental sustainability. With a population of over 1.3 billion people and a rapidly growing economy, India’s energy demand is expected to double by 2040. At the same time, the country is committed to reducing its carbon emissions and achieving its climate change goals. Given this background, Green Hydrogen has emerged as a promising solution for India’s energy security and sustainability.
As India moves towards establishing itself as a global superpower, attaining energy self-reliance is of utmost importance. Green Hydrogen has the power to transform India from an energy importer to an energy exporter which would have a far-reaching impact on India’s overall trade position and exchange outflows.
The Promise of Green Hydrogen
Green Hydrogen is produced through the process of electrolysis, which uses electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Unlike hydrogen produced from fossil fuels, Green Hydrogen is a zero-emission fuel that does not release any greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This makes it a key tool for decarbonizing various sectors such as transportation, industry, and power generation.
India has set an ambitious target of generating 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030. Green Hydrogen can play a critical role in achieving this target by enabling the storage and transport of renewable energy. By using renewable energy to produce Green Hydrogen, India can enhance its energy security and reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels.
Green Hydrogen in Transportation
India is one of the world’s largest consumers of oil, and its transportation sector accounts for a significant share of its energy consumption and carbon emissions. Green Hydrogen can play a critical role in decarbonizing this sector by fueling fuel cell vehicles. Fuel cell vehicles powered by Green Hydrogen emit only water vapor and heat, making them an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional vehicles.
India has already taken some steps to promote the use of fuel-cell vehicles. In 2018, the country launched its National Hydrogen Energy Mission, which aims to develop a hydrogen economy and promote the use of fuel-cell vehicles. Moreover, the Indian government has announced plans to launch a pilot project for hydrogen-powered buses in the city of Delhi.
Green Hydrogen in Industry
India’s industrial sector is the largest consumer of energy in the country, accounting for around 40% of total energy consumption. Green Hydrogen can be used as a feedstock or fuel in several industrial processes such as ammonia production, steel manufacturing, and petrochemicals. This can not only help reduce carbon emissions but also enhance energy security by reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels.
India’s National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap, released in 2021, identifies several industries where Green Hydrogen can be used, including steel, cement, fertilizer, and chemicals. According to the International Energy Agency, India’s demand for hydrogen in the industrial sector is expected to reach 8.6 million tonnes by 2050, of which Green Hydrogen could meet up to 10%.
Green Hydrogen in Power Generation
Green hydrogen can be used to generate electricity through fuel cells, which convert hydrogen into electricity without producing any emissions. This makes Green Hydrogen a clean and renewable alternative to conventional power generation sources such as coal and natural gas.
India has set an ambitious target of achieving 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, which includes 280 GW of solar and 140 GW of wind power. Green Hydrogen can play a critical role in achieving this target by enabling the storage and transport of renewable energy. According to a study by the Indian government, Green Hydrogen can potentially meet around 14% of India’s electricity demand by 2030.
Green Hydrogen has emerged as a promising solution for India’s energy security and sustainability. By using renewable energy to produce Green Hydrogen, India can enhance its energy security, reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels, and achieve its climate change goals
When India achieves its targets for the production and export of Green Hydrogen, it will mark a significant milestone in the history of the nation as it will provide it with the necessary thrust to propel it into a period of fascinating growth and development.
(The author is Mr. Shalin Sheth, Founder, and Managing Director of Advait Infratech, and the views expressed in this article are his own)