NITI Aayog Report On Green Hydrogen Pushes For Decarburisation Opportunities
New Delhi: In view of the challenge of de-carbonising the heavy industry in the country, a report issued by the NITI Aayog on Wednesday explores the possibility of India becoming a global hub for green hydrogen production and export through a 10-point guide for a national action plan.
As part of its climate action commitments, India has announced to go for a 500 GW renewable energy target towards the Net Zero target by 2070. While a major focus is on solar and wind as of date, the government is increasingly looking at green hydrogen as India stands a chance to be the hub of green hydrogen.
India’s distinct advantage in terms of low-cost renewable electricity, complemented by rapidly falling electrolyser prices, can enable green hydrogen to be not just economical compared to fossil-fuel based hydrogen, but also compared to the green hydrogen being produced around the globe.
The NITI Aayog report — Harnessing Green Hydrogen: Opportunities for Deep Decarburisation in India’ — aims to serve as a key knowledge base for India’s Green Hydrogen Policy discourse and private sector investment decisions, it was announced at the launch.
“India needs to form Green Hydrogen Corridors, (as) it is critical for making India a huge exporter, a leader in climate mitigation and achieving our target of 500 GW renewable energy capacity by 2030,” NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said at the report launch.
The report pointed out that hydrogen demand in India could grow more than fourfold by 2050, representing almost 10 per cent of the global hydrogen demand and that the initial demand growth is expected from mature markets such as refinery, ammonia and methanol, which are already using hydrogen as industrial feedstock and in chemical processes.
“In the longer term, steel and heavy-duty trucking are likely to drive the majority of demand growth, accounting for almost 52 per cent of total demand by 2050. Adoption of green hydrogen will also result in 3.6 giga tonnes of cumulative CO2 emissions reductions between 2020 and 2050. Energy import savings from green hydrogen can range from $246 billion to $358 billion within the same period,” the report said.
Beyond the financial savings, the energy security that green hydrogen provides will translate to less volatile price inputs for India’s industries as well as strengthen India’s foreign exchange situation in the long run, it added.
Stating that the report works towards a hydrogen strategy that is designed to construct a high-tech and low-carbon Indian brand and, if the right steps are taken, Kant said in his foreword, “India can achieve the world’s largest electrolysis (green hydrogen generation) capacity of over 60 GW/5 million tonnes by 2030 for domestic consumption.”
“This will help India meet the 500 GW renewable energy target. Also, India can target to be the world’s largest production of green steel at 15-20 million tonnes by 2030, a pioneering effort to make green steel mainstream for the world.”
Kant also said that India can achieve being the world’s largest electrolyser with annual manufacturing capacity of 25 GW by 2028, delivering affordable ones both for India and the world.
Given the prospects that green hydrogen presents for India, the report also said that real action is required for the country to truly benefit from the opportunities and then provided 10 actionable steps that can guide a National Action Plan on Green Hydrogen.
These include a roadmap focused on all aspects of green hydrogen; supply side interventions to bring down the cost of green hydrogen to $1 per kg; mandates and incentives for a target of 160 GW production capacity of green hydrogen; R&D investment and manufacturing capacity of 25 GW by 2030, and initiating green hydrogen standards.
The actionable steps also included pointers such as promotion of exports of green hydrogen and green-hydrogen enabled products; facilitate investment through demand aggregation, and state-level actions and policy making for green hydrogen.