The green hydrogen mission launched by the government aims at ensuring the use of alternative fuels like hydrogen in refineries, city gas distribution grids with support from all stakeholders, including investments from the public and private sectors, union minister of petroleum and natural gas and housing and urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday.
“We will ensure uptake of green hydrogen in refineries and city gas distribution (CGD) through both public sector entities and private sector and try to design new projects with maximum chances of hydrogen deployment to strategically phase out fossil fuels and aid decarbonisation goals,” Puri said.
The minister was speaking at a three-day International Conference on Green Hydrogen (ICGH-2023), being organised from 5 to 7 July 2023 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Government of India is looking to ramp up green hydrogen production and align it with global trends in technology, applications, policy, and regulation, he said.
Terming PSUs as the major game changers for ensuring a smooth green hydrogen economy transition the petroleum minister said, “The PSUs are focused on ensuring a hydrogen based economy. They have targeted to produce more than 1 MMT of green hydrogen by 2030. The global demand for hydrogen is expected to reach 200 million tons by the same time, basis the IEA report”, Puri added.
The conference being organised under the aegis of the ministry of new and renewable energy, in partnership with the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Office of Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry, witnessed the presence of industry captains, deliberating through 25 expert sessions with over 1,500 people attending these sessions.
“India has embarked on a new journey and requires active support and collaboration amongst all the stakeholders and with the recent launch of National Green Hydrogen Mission, the Government means business” Puri stated.
India, the minister pointed out, is fourth globally in terms of installed renewable energy capacity and has achieved some of the lowest long term levelised costs for solar and wind power generation. “We have natural advantage in producing green hydrogen as we have abundance of solar energy and investments in our power grid. We have the apt climate, resources, adequate production and strong supply-chain for Green Hydrogen.”
Puri said that India is climatically blessed and the government is committed to make the world a better place to live, adding that leading financial institutions have also shown keen interest to invest in India.
“The European Investment Bank (EIB) will be our hydrogen ally and would support development of large scale industry hubs with a funding of 1 billion euros. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recently conveyed their intent to provide $20–$25 billion over five years to aid India’s aspirations for green growth. That’s not all, The World Bank has approved $1.5 billion in financing to support India’s low-carbon transition journey”, the petroleum minister stated.
Addressing the gathering, union minister of state for science and technology, MoS PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh, said that the hydrogen mission will not only create jobs but will also boost global trade and reiterate India’s commitment towards `Atmanirbhar Bharat’. He said the focus is on affordability, accessibility and acceptability.
Bhupinder S Bhalla, secretary in the ministry of new and renewable energy, emphasised on the conference's comprehensive coverage of the entire green hydrogen ecosystem, including production, storage, mobility, utilisation, distribution, infrastructure, and transportation. The objective of ICGH 2023 was to learn from the experiences of other countries leading the development and deployment of green hydrogen, he said.
Ashish Lele, director of the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, harped on the evolving nature of green hydrogen and said the conference's aim is to bring together key stakeholders to discuss important themes in the sector. He highlighted the indigenous technologies showcased at ICGH-2023, including the fuel sim technology exhibit developed collaboratively by DRDO, L&T, and KPIT.
SSV Ramakumar, director (R&D) of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), expressed satisfaction with the conference's achievement of exploring avenues for boosting green hydrogen through the sharing and learning of international best practices. He announced IOCL's plan to launch 15 fuel cell-driven buses in Delhi this year, with routes connecting Faridabad-Delhi, Delhi-Agra, and future extensions to cities such as Baroda-Kevadia and Trivandrum-City Centre.
Regarding skill development and employment, panelists stressed the need to upskill and reskill existing energy personnel to meet the changing requirements of the rapidly evolving green hydrogen sector. Efforts are underway by academic associations, private universities, and organizations like India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) to design special courses and skilling programs. The Ministry of Skill Development & Education is also working on a policy to provide hands-on training in various aspects of the green hydrogen ecosystem.
Replying to a question about demand projections for green hydrogen by 2030, Bhalla stated that India aims to produce 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030, with 70 per cent earmarked for exports and the remaining 30 per cent for domestic consumption. Five priority sectors, including fertiliser, refinery, long-haul mobility (with pilots already in place in industries such as steel, shipping, and long-haul transportation), have been identified for green hydrogen applications.
The three-day conference witnessed over 2,700 registrations and featured participation from over 135 speakers, including representatives from countries such as Japan, Australia, Africa, and the European Union. The conference included seven plenary sessions, four panel discussions, and 16 technical sessions. A separate CEO roundtable, chaired by union minister for power and new and renewable energy, R K Singh, provided an opportunity to explore the potential opportunities in India's green hydrogen ecosystem. Additionally, closed-door country roundtables were organized with Singapore, Korea, Japan, and the EU to discuss collaboration potential for mutual benefit.