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Powering Tomorrow with Green Hydrogen: India's Industrial Giants Compete for a Sustainable Future

India is witnessing a paradigm shift in its energy landscape as 21 prominent companies, including Reliance Electrolyser Manufacturing, Adani New Industries, L&T Electrolysers, and Bharat Heavy Electricals, vie for government incentives to establish a robust 3.4 GW annual capacity for manufacturing electrolyser – a pivotal component essential for green hydrogen production.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) initiated this transformative endeavor through a tender on July 7, 2023, inviting key players to contribute to 1.5 GW of electrolyser manufacturing capacity. This move aligns with India’s ambitious National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM), approved by the Union cabinet in January 2023, with a budget of Rs 19,744 crore, aimed at positioning India as a global hub for manufacturing this sustainable energy source.

The NGHM envisions the development of 5 million tonnes per annum of green hydrogen production capacity by 2030. To achieve this, India must harness 60-100 GW electrolyser capacity and 125 GW renewable energy capacity. While currently, around 30% of India’s installed capacity is renewable energy, the target for green hydrogen alone necessitates tapping into almost the entirety of this renewable potential.

The mission lays the foundation for two green hydrogen hubs in its initial phase. The ministry of ports, shipping, and waterways has designated Deendayal, Paradip, and V O Chidambaranar (Tuticorin) Ports to be developed as hydrogen hubs, underscoring the strategic importance of port infrastructure in the green hydrogen ecosystem.

Green hydrogen, produced by splitting water using renewable energy, stands in stark contrast to conventional hydrogen production methods reliant on fossil fuels. The electrolyser, a key technology in this process, facilitates the split without contributing to carbon emissions.

India, a major consumer of hydrogen for industrial applications such as petroleum refining, fertiliser manufacturing, and metal production, has traditionally sourced 99% of its hydrogen from fossil fuels. The NGHM seeks to transform this landscape by encouraging the production, use, and export of green hydrogen and its derivatives, promoting environmental sustainability and global collaboration.

In response to SECI’s call, a diverse group of companies, including Hild Electric Private, Ohmium Operations, Greenko Hydrogen Solutions, Avaada Electrolyser, and others, have submitted bids for incentives under the NGHM. These bids represent a pivotal step toward achieving India’s green hydrogen targets.

In a parallel development, 14 companies have expressed interest in incentives to establish production facilities for 5,53,730 tonnes of green hydrogen, surpassing the offered capacity of 4,50,000 tonnes. Among the participating companies are Torrent Power, UPL, JSW Neo Energy, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation, highlighting the widespread enthusiasm within the industry for embracing sustainable energy practices.

While this surge in interest demonstrates the industry’s commitment to green hydrogen, the bidding process also acts as a proactive measure to mitigate potential retaliatory actions. The complexities of international trade dynamics, exacerbated by the current dysfunction of the WTO appellate body, necessitate strategic moves to protect India’s economic interests.

The NGHM, with its focus on developing green hydrogen hubs, emphasizes the importance of collaborative efforts to address global energy challenges. As India embarks on this transformative journey, the active participation of key industry players becomes instrumental in shaping a sustainable and eco-friendly energy future.

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