IH2A-NITI Aayog Suggests Ways for Large Scale Commercialization of Green Hydrogen in India

With an aim for speedy large-scale commercialization of green hydrogen within the country, Reliance, JSW Steel and Chart Industries led India Hydrogen Alliance (IH2A) has proposed a plan to the policy think tank NITI Aayog and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

March 03, 2022. By Manu Tayal

With an aim for speedy large-scale commercialization of green hydrogen within the country, Reliance, JSW Steel and Chart Industries led India Hydrogen Alliance (IH2A) has proposed a plan to the policy think tank NITI Aayog and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Under the plan, IH2A, industry-led coalition of global and Indian companies, has suggested the creation of a ‘Public-Private H2Bharat Taskforce’, which would identify and develop at least 5 large GW-scale green hydrogen hubs in India, within the next 18-months.

The proposal was the result of the second workshop conducted by NITI Aayog and IH2A, to build the hydrogen economy in India, and part of a set of seven points that were deliberated during the workshop.

Welcoming the proposal, Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive of NITI Aayog, said, “our aim is to bring down the cost of green hydrogen to $2.5/kg by 2025 and $1/kg by 2030. This is possible only by increasing the size and scale of hydrogen manufacturing. With rapidly falling renewable energy costs, India’s green hydrogen production cost is expected to be amongst the lowest in the world. The H2Bharat Taskforce is an interesting proposal to kick-start green hydrogen project development at a large GW-scale. We welcome this voluntary initiative from the industry and look forward to collaborating on it.”

Explaining the working of the proposed Taskforce, Jill Evanko, Chief Executive and President, Chart Industries, and founding member, IH2A, said, “the H2Bharat Taskforce will identify and shortlist five GW-scale national green hydrogen hubs for development in the next 12 months. It would bring together all relevant stakeholders from the government, funding agencies and the industry. IH2A will be happy to extend resources for this initiative voluntarily and work together with NITI Aayog and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for it.”

The workshop was attended by representatives from the European Investment Bank (EIB), World Bank, OECD, GIZ, CDC and FMO; Government of India, Government of Kerala and industry players from across the hydrogen value chain.

The seven recommended steps from the NITI Aayog-IH2A workshop include:

1). India should replicate the global best-practice of GW-scale Green H2 hubs with co-located Green H2 production and consumption, across different use cases, in a single regional cluster or hub, to commercialize Green hydrogen.

2). The first Green H2 hubs should be designated national projects or ‘Special Projects of National Importance’ and be supported with special incentives and public funding.

3). Formation of public-private consortiums for the development of national green hydrogen hubs and project clusters is very important, to pool public and private resources and for de-risking early project development.

4). Sovereign green bonds and global climate finance commitments can provide the necessary funding for GW-scale Green Hydrogen hubs in India. Multilateral and government agencies can play a catalyzing role in early market development by part-funding design and pre-feasibility studies for the national hubs.

5). India needs a pipeline of national hydrogen hubs that can be evaluated before public and low-cost funding can be extended to them. Funding agencies are keen to see the synergies across the green hydrogen value-chain in project plans rather than standalone green hydrogen projects.

6). Pre-feasibility studies for the first set of GW-scale green hydrogen hubs should start immediately with at least five national green hydrogen hubs identified in the next 18 months.

7). Formation of a public-private H2Bharat commercialization taskforce, with a focus on green H2 hub or cluster development, with the target to conduct pre-feasibility studies for the first five GW green H2 clusters/hubs in India in the next 12 months.

Earlier, the industry body has estimated that India would need investments of about USD 25 billion, from public and private sectors, to create a domestic green hydrogen supply chain with a national installed electrolyzer capacity of 25 GW producing 5 MT of Green Hydrogen by 2030.

It has earlier been stated that coordinated public-private actions would be required to develop the first generation of large-scale commercial hydrogen projects.

India Hydrogen Alliance works with the public, private sector and the government to ensure that costs of hydrogen production are brought down, and a local supply chain for hydrogen and industrial, power and transport sector demand has been created.
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