Experts lay thrust on Indo-Japan strategic partnership on hydrogen

Experts lay thrust on Indo-Japan strategic partnership on hydrogen

R&D partnerships, pilot scale projects, joint forums and discussions on standards and safety to promote harmonization would be the way forward

  • By Rahul Koul | March 28, 2022

Experts believe that the hydrogen focused partnerships between India and Japan could be highly valuable, given Japan's expertise across all areas of the hydrogen value chain. They feel that by bringing together industry and government stakeholders to build partnerships for co-innovation, two countries would reduce the risks of initial deployment.

With a renewable energy target of 500GW for 2030 and net zero by 2070, India could become a hydrogen hub as it is a promising opportunity. For a developing country like India, affordability is a huge factor. Therefore, while targets are there, we need to define the roadmap, says Ajay Shankar, Distinguished Fellow, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

Shankar spoke at the Indo Japan Hydrogen Seminar 2022 organized by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan on March 4, 2022. NEDO India is currently exploring newer technological areas for understanding the market better and seeking a potential market for Japanese companies in India & collaborating with Indian partners in strategic sectors like hydrogen, solar power, biomass energy, mobility, battery, and carbon neutrality.

"In 2020, TERI released a policy brief titled, 'Make Hydrogen in India' which made the case for greater activity on green hydrogen technologies, to capture manufacturing benefits. Since then several developments have taken place. In 2022, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched the first phase of the National Hydrogen Policy. The government of India plans to introduce a PLI scheme for electrolysers to promote green hydrogen production in India at an outlay of US$ 2 billion. In line with the government's plan to export green hydrogen and green ammonia, a detailed in-depth analysis to assess the potential needs to be undertaken. The cost of infrastructure and safety concerns would also need to be addressed. Various leading industry players have also made ambitious announcements across the hydrogen value chain,” informs Shankar.

“In terms of partnerships between India and Japan, it will be highly valuable due to Japan's expertise across all areas of hydrogen. Bringing together industry and government stakeholders for co-innovation partnerships would help in reducing the risks of initial deployment. R&D partnerships, pilot scale projects, joint forums and discussions on standards and safety to promote harmonization would be the way forward," Shankar says while sharing his roadmap.

The paradigm shift in the energy landscape is becoming clearer day by day with falling prices of renewables. Hydrogen is emerging as the heat of decarbonization and is full of opportunities. The Indian corporate sector is taking significant steps in the direction of Indian Oil Corporation plans to build the country's first green hydrogen plant at its Mathura refinery. NTPC plans to use electricity generated from its upcoming renewable energy projects to generate green hydrogen on a commercial scale. L&T has signed a pact with Norway based electrolyser technology manufacturer to set up a gigawatt scale manufacturing unit for alkaline water electrolysis unit in india. Adani is targeting to become one of the largest green hydrogen producers in the world. It plans to invest US$ 20 billion in renewable energy generation over the next decade and is keen to use it for producing green hydrogen. HPCL is setting up a green hydrogen project of 370 TPA (2.6 MW) capacity at Visakh Refinery by January, 2023," says Alok Sharma, Executive Director Centre for High Technology, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.  

As per Vandana Kumar, Joint Secretary, MNRE, hydrogen can play a significant role in helping India in achieving its ambitious targets of decarbonisation, reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports and improve energy security.

"India has already set its National Green Hydrogen Mission rolling and MNRE is working on this and we are on the anvil of requisite permissions. Since Japan is the one of the foremost partners in the infrastructure development in this country, we are looking at partnering on many hydrogen related initiatives. At COP 26, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced 500 gigawatts (GW) of non-fossil electricity capacity, half of energy from renewables, a reduction of emissions by one billion tonnes and emissions intensity of the GDP by 45% by 2030. These are important goals for us to pursue in terms of decarbonization. We are hopeful that green hydrogen will play a huge role in non-abate sectors but we are first exploring the low hanging fruits. We are looking in phases at replacing grey hydrogen as a feedstock and carrier. We are looking at pilots in railways and steel. We are working on creating an ecosystem for development of green hydrogen and its consumption. It is a long process and given our experience from 20,000 MW to 150 GW, we have made strides in solar and we hope to do better in hydrogen as well. We aim to bring a bouquet of measures and regulation is going to be a significant component. R&D will become a major component of this roadmap," Kumar informs.

"Japan and India's private players are engaging in hydrogen energy. As a result, Japan is taking keen interest in India's ambitious projects. In the areas of stationary fuel cells, it will be meaningful for India and Japan to engage. On the occasion of 70 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and India, the Japanese PM was here a few days back and he mentioned India's IT strength. Japan could become a necessary partner and we would like to promote technical knowledge and awareness in the public and private sector. There is no doubt that partnership between Indian and Japan is strategic and highly fruitful,” says Kawazu Kunihiko, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan.

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