Jules Verne wrote in his 1875 novel ‘The Mysterious Island’:
“Water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light [and many more industrial processes the Jules Verne of the time didn’t think of yet], of an intensity of which coal is not capable”.
Aside from cheap renewable (and additional) electrical power, water is the second important resource needed to become a global green hydrogen player. India has a large coastline with access to seawater and ample sunlight for solar power: this could secure India’s stake in the world’s vast appetite for fuel. Desalination plants could provide the country with enough fresh water to fuel green hydrogen production. Desalination, however, is a process that holds as many chances as it brings responsibilities with it. Desalination can not only provide sweet water for hydrogen production, but also households and agriculture. Simultaneously, facilities need to ensure appropriate handling of the toxic brine that remains from the desalination process.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 25-year roadmap for hydrogen development in his address on India’s 75th Independence Day and announced the National Hydrogen Mission to meet the larger goal of self-reliance in energy production by the 100th Independence Day in 2047. “The thing that is going to help India with a quantum leap in terms of climate is green hydrogen. We have to make India a global hub for green hydrogen production and export,” he said. The Modi government has announced the target of producing 5 million tons per annum GH2 by 2030. To achieve this goal, it also provides tax breaks and allots land to set up plants.
With its high solar power security, India is one of the countries with a pole position when it comes to the production cost of green hydrogen: by 2025, green hydrogen is supposed to become cost- competitive with blue hydrogen, and by 2030 green hydrogen should have reached a production cost of 1 USD/kg (like Brazil).
Since 2006, the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF) is a dialogue platform for high-level decision-makers in government, financial institutions and industry under the leadership of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the Indian Ministry of Power (MoP).
India is also one of the foci countries of the PtX Hub, in association with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Govt. of Germany the IGEF organisedits first hybrid Renewable PtX Training in India from June 22-24, focussing on members of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Power, and state governments. India’s largest power sector utility NTPC Limited under the Ministry of Power made a presentation on NTPC’S roadmap on green hydrogen.
The workshop was further facilitated by Mr. Tobias Winter, Director, Indo-German Energy Forum. Additional country-specific inputs were also provided by Ms. Stefanie Schmid-Lübbert, Head of Unit Bilateral Energy Cooperation Asia, BMWK and Mr. Rolf Behrndt, Principal Advisor, GIZ. Ms. Stefanie Schmid-Lübbert and Mr. Tobias Winter emphasised India's excellent position about renewable energies: the sun always shines in the country (albeit in different places) and the windiest hours start towards evening, 19:00 towards night. The country can therefore exploit renewable energies at any time. Mr. Rolf Behrndt took the opportunity to point out the various support and financing programmes of GIZ in particular and Federal gov of Germany in general.
The second training was held two weeks later, on July 12-14 – this time focussing on members of Indian think tanks such as the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and an independent technical expert who presented the perspective on green hydrogen in India. Participants who attended the training were the officials from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Power, NITI Aayog, Ministry of External Affairs and State governments.
A transfer workshop took place on the third day of the training which was anchored by the trainer, Prof. Christoph Menke. It was a 1.5 hour long talk followed by a Q&A session. Among other topics, financing aspects and possibilities, access to the European market and (future) regulations and binding standards captured and stimulated the interest of participants. In the course of the training, it became clear that the situation regarding standards and certifications in particular was often not comprehensible to the participants, such as, which standards or certification possibilities already exist, which need to be consolidated and which are still in their infancy?
The overall training took place successfully in a hybrid setting, i.e. the participants in India joined together from a conference room, and the PtX Hub and trainers were connected virtually.