In the run-up to the 18th G20 Summit, a day-long conference on “Green Hydrogen Pilots in India” was held in New Delhi, on 5th September, 2023. The conference showcased various Green Hydrogen Pilots being implemented by both public and private sector companies of India. The conference, hosted by NTPC Ltd., also presented pioneering innovative pilots and progress in green hydrogen technology.
“India has to seize the moment and do something about its energy import bills”
Delivering the inaugural address, Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R. K. Singh said that we have to take effective measures to reduce our huge energy import bills, and that this is the moment which India has to seize. “For long, we have been huge energy importers. If we don’t do something about this, our import bills will multiply. We have this huge economy which will continue growing at 7% – 8% for next 2 – 3 decades. Our requirements of energy are huge. Our power demand has grown up by 21% in August 2023 as compared to August 2022. On a daily basis, our power demand is about 40 GW – 50 GW more than corresponding day last year, that is how fast we are growing.”
“Pivot towards Green Hydrogen inspired by quest for Self-Reliance and Concern for Environment”
The Union Minister said that India has the potential to be one of the biggest manufacturers of green hydrogen in the world. “We have set up a huge ecosystem for renewable energy. Our pace of capacity addition in renewable energy is one of the fastest in the world. Our cost of making renewable energy and our cost of producing green hydrogen will be one of the lowest in the world.”
Shri Singh said that India will emerge as a huge exporter and the world will come to follow our approach on green hydrogen. “When they say clean hydrogen, these countries mean hydrogen made from natural gas, resulting in emission of 11 kgs of hydrogen for every kilogram of hydrogen. They wanted us to stop using the term green hydrogen as well, but we stuck to our line. The world will by and large follow this approach.”
Speaking about the environment, the Minister said that India’s contribution to the global carbon dioxide load is just 4% while our population is 17%. “But we believe in the environment. This is why we have emerged as a leader in energy transition. Our motivation in pivoting towards Green Hydrogen has been to become energy-independent and our concern for the environment.”
“India has to emerge as refuelling destination for all Green Ships”
The Minister informed gave an overview of ongoing green hydrogen pilots and steps being taken by India in this direction. “Many green hydrogen pilots are going on in India and across the world. We have pilots for green steel and in heavy duty transportation. Electric mobility is not viable for long distance heavy mobility; hence hydrogen or ammonia is the answer. In shipping, around the world, countries are making some ships ready. World shipping will go green within around 10 years. So, we have to emerge as refuelling destination for all green ships, since we can provide them green hydrogen or green ammonia or whatever fuel they want at the lowest cost. We have to prepare bunkers at shipyards and also have pilots for green shipping on our own. We are in talks with the Ministry of Shipping, to take this forward.”
Pilot for Green Hydrogen for Round-the-Clock Renewable Energy on the Way
The Minister said that we will come out with a pilot for green hydrogen or green ammonia for storage for round-the-clock renewable energy. “These pilots are starting points at transforming the sector, moving away from fossil fuels. For example, take steel; we import the bulk of our coking coal requirements. But there is a simpler process – direct reduction using hydrogen. That is the direction to go. We are one of the biggest manufacturers of steel in the world, we aim to continue to be so, only that we will need to transform our steel industry and we will have to move in this direction.”
“Solution is round-the-clock renewable energy using green hydrogen as storage”
Shri Singh opined that most of the methods of running the pilots are already commercially viable. “There are already companies which have developed turbines which can use hydrogen or ammonia for making electricity. These pilots are actually initial bids, and I believe we can replicate them on a larger scale for round-the-clock renewable energy. This will free us at one stroke from the problem of going for large scale imports of lithium batteries till we have our own manufacturing capacity. This will be entirely homegrown and we can start off from the word go. This is absolutely necessary, since we have demand growing and we need capacities at a rapid pace. Given the pace at which we are growing, this is the solution: round-the-clock renewable energy using green hydrogen as storage.”
The Minister said that the pilot for long-distance heavy mobility can be structured in a way so that we provide refuelling points and we say that these routes are earmarked for heavy mobility using hydrogen. He added that if we give Viability Gap Funding in first or second rounds, we would not need it for third year or beyond. “If we have to make it successful, we have to make it commercially viable. Commercial structuring is key to making it a success.”
The Minister said that the world is changing, and the difference this time is that we are at the vanguard of this change. “We are leading this change, we are leading the world.”
Pilot Projects: The Real Stars of National Green Hydrogen Mission
In his keynote address, Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Shri Bhupinder S. Bhalla said that the real stars of the National Green Hydrogen Mission are the pilot projects, which have been allocated Rs. 1,466 crores. “The pilot projects hold the key to innovation and experimentation. We have a large budget for these projects, which are strategically designed to tackle sectors which have been traditionally reliant on fossil fuels, such as steel production, long-range heavy-duty mobility, energy storage, shipping and using hydrogen for round-the-clock renewable power. What sets apart these pilot projects is that they are innovation labs, which allow us to test cutting-edge technologies, evaluate regulatory frameworks and develop necessary infrastructure.”
The Secretary informed that an amount of Rs. 456 crores is set aside for steel, Rs. 495 crores for transport, Rs. 115 crores for shipping and Rs. 400 crores for other projects. “The pilot projects aim to revolutionize these sectors and promise to set new standards for sustainability and innovation”. Shri Bhalla said that MNRE had already requested the concerned Ministries, namely the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Steel and Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, to send their proposals for pilot projects in respective sectors.”
“R&D roadmap for National Green Hydrogen Mission to be released shortly”
The New & Renewable Energy Secretary also informed that the R&D roadmap for the Mission is almost finalized and will be released shortly (the draft roadmap can be found here). This will detail the various research areas required for development of green hydrogen ecosystem. “We have also worked on necessary regulations, codes and standards. We have sent the first set of recommendations to agencies like BIS, PESO and OISD, to adopt the relevant standards. India has also notified its Green Hydrogen Standard which limits carbon dioxide missions to less than or equal to 2 kg. per kg. of hydrogen.”
CMD, NTPC, Shri Gurdeep Singh said that hydrogen is going to be the fuel for the future and that green hydrogen in particular will play the lead role in our energy transition. He said that not just public sector, but private sector too, is implementing pilot projects in green hydrogen, which will be helpful in formulating the green hydrogen ecosystem, going forward.
CEO, NTPC Green Energy Ltd., Shri Mohit Bhargava also addressed the opening session.
Conference participants got the opportunity to see pilot innovations and gain valuable insights into the future of clean energy. Green hydrogen pilots being showcased include presentations on Green Hydrogen Blending in Petroleum and Natural Gas (NTPC); Green Hydrogen Mobility (NTPC); FCEV and H2ICE Vehicles (Ashok Leyland); Green Shipping Initiatives (Cochin Shipyard); Microgrid and Mobility (NHPC); Mobility, Blending using AEM Electrolysers (Oil India); Green Hydrogen based Microgrid and other initiatives (H2E); Green Ammonia Plant in Bikaner (ACME); Green Methanol, Green Ethanol (NTPC); Making of DRI Steel with Green Hydrogen (Ministry of Steel); Hydrogen based Microgrid Initiatives (THDC); Green Hydrogen for use in Welding Procedures at Hazira (L&T); Green Hydrogen using off-grid solar (Hygenco); and Solar to Direct Hydrogen – (SoHHytec).
The discussions during the event will help in assimilation of information and encourage sharing of achievements and challenges faced by the early movers. In addition, the pilot projects will help address technological challenges, develop local supply chains, and optimise techno-economic feasibility in the future.
The agenda of the conference can be found here.
Watch the seminar here.
- ‘Green Hydrogen Pilots in India’ Conference to be held in the run-up to G20 Summit
- India announces definition of Green Hydrogen
- Final Energy Transitions Working Group Meeting under India’s G20 Presidency Concludes
- G20 Energy Ministers Adopt Ambitious and Forward-looking Outcome Document and Chair’s Summary
- List of studies released during G20 Energy Transitions Working Group Meetings
PIB DELHI | Alok / Dheep