India is working towards being energy independent by 2047: Amitabh Kant

India is working towards being energy independent by 2047: Amitabh Kant

The government is formulating National Green Hydrogen Mission to promote green hydrogen production in India

  • By Rahul Koul | March 25, 2022

Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog is bullish about India's foray into the manufacturing of green hydrogen and its ability to emerge as a major exporter of renewable energy in the next two decades.

"India has some competitive level in terms of cost of electricity, solar and wind energy in the world and given the low electricity cost, it is beneficial to expand green hydrogen production in India rather than the production of grey or blue hydrogen. Our internal analysis indicates that the cost of green hydrogen will fally to approximately one US dollar per kg in 2030 at 0.70 US dollar per kg by 2050. Regardless of the scenario, the conclusion is clear that the future of energy belongs to green hydrogen," Kant remarked at the Indo Japan Hydrogen Seminar 2022 organized by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan on March 24, 2022.

Kant emphasized on the importance of Indo-Japan partnership over green hydrogen.

"India and Japan can collaborate on green energy initiatives, working together in terms of technology, extending cheap finance in green hydrogen development and ensuring that our production is marked for exports. I think there is an opportunity for close collaboration between two counties on climate change. India has the ecosystem to produce green hydrogen at low cost and is a green manufacturing destination. It has the skills, enterprise and entrepreneurial ability. At the same time, Japan's commitment to drive green manufacturing can be done in partnership with India. We look forward to it."

Sharing his thoughts on India's commitment to non-fossil fuels, Kant added: "India has 17% of the world population but contributes only 5% of the total carbon emissions. We have left no stone unturned in our fight against climate change. We are targeting non-fuel energy capacity of 500 GW and 50% cumulative electric power capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources. We will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes. We will reduce the intensity of carbon emissions on the Indian economy by less than 45% and we will aim to become energy independent by 2047 and the net zero by 2070."

"Today India has built a successful globally competitive renewable energy industry and produced over 100 GW of clean energy. We have world class clean energy players with top notch execution capacity. India ranks 4th in the world because of installed renewable energy capacity. The share of non fossil fuel has already reached almost 40%. India has demonstrated to the world that by bringing the energy cost down it makes complete sense for India to become a hub for green hydrogen production and exports. The thrust on green ammonia would result in bringing down the cost of hydrogen further. This will create a trigger for domestic market transformation and simultaneously by mandating the green hydrogen consumption obligation will lead to decarbonisation in the refineries and fertilizer units in the initial phase, which can then be expanded to other sectors later on. India roughly spends over 160 billion of foreign exchange on imports and these imports are likely to double in next 15 years without remedial action," Kant elaborated.

Talking about the growth drivers, Kant stated: Currently, India consumes about 9% of global grey hydrogen production which is about 5.6 MMTPA. The total hydrogen market in India is expected to grow up to 11.7 MMTPA by the year 2030. Among the major consuming sectors are refinery, fertilizer. In the longer run, steel, transportation and power sectors, blending with gas and heavy duty trucking are likely to drive the majority of demand growth, accounting for close to 50% by 2050.

On the challenges that need to be addressed during the hydrogen transition, Kant said: "The cost of green hydrogen production is slightly higher than fossil fuel alternatives and there has to be a focus on R&D. Transportation of hydrogen in green ammonia, building infrastructure necessary to bring down the cost of green hydrogen. Formulating whole regulation standards, financing and scale remains a big challenge. The government is formulating National Green Hydrogen Mission in India and the objective is to ensure the percentage of green hydrogen consumption obligations for refinery and fertilizer sectors are met. There is an incentive structure for manufacturing the electrolysers and its components and to have technical safety standards, specifications for labeling green hydrogen and ammonia to facilitate exports. Additionally, it will be worth it to create industrial corridors for hydrogen ammonia production."

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