Virtual Roundtable on "Gap Analysis: Hydrogen Standards"

The Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF-SO) hosted a virtual roundtable on "Gap Analysis: Hydrogen Standards" on 24 April 2023, a deliverable agreed upon by the subworking group 4 on Quality Infrastructure, Safety and Legal Framework of the Indo-German Green Hydrogen Task Force. 

The co-heads of the subworking group, Prof. Dr. Chitra Rajagopal, Director, Center of Excellence at IIT-Delhi and Mr. Markus Hoffmann von Wolffersdorff, Partner at KNPP welcomed the participants with their opening remarks. Prof. Dr. Rajagopal accentuated on the essence of having a robust framework of regulations, codes, and standards throughout the value chain for establishing a green hydrogen ecosystem in India. Mr Hoffmann von Wolffersdorff added that the aim of this session was to raise awareness and sensitivity to possible gaps in safety standards for hydrogen production, storage and transport, and to work on a plan to address them.

Mr. Dipesh Pherwani, Scientist, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), emphasised in his special address that the National Green Hydrogen Mission seeks to coordinate various efforts for development of regulations and standards in line with industry requirements for emerging technologies. He also briefly mentioned that the MNRE has constituted working groups comprising relevant ministries, government agencies, standardisation and certification bodies and industry stakeholders to recommend a national framework of standards and regulations required for the green hydrogen ecosystem.

The floor was then open to Mr. Prashant K. Banerjee, Executive Director, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) for his presentation on “Gap Analysis: Hydrogen Standards”. Mr. Banerjee is also the Chair of the MNRE constituted Sub-Group III on Hydrogen-fuelled mobility applications, which has done an in-depth critical assessment of the challenges and desired actions with respect to standards and regulations. Mr. Banerjee offered an overview on all the gap analysis activities of the sub-groups and recommendations. He laid emphasis on the Indo-German cooperation meticulously promoting green hydrogen as a tool to meet future energy needs through decarbonisation. He mentioned that as part of Sub-Group III, more than 150 (142 automobiles and 8 locomotive) regulations compliance and standards (RCS) on Green Hydrogen were identified and studied. With significant efforts already underway for building a standards and regulatory framework for enabling the Hydrogen ecosystem, it is essential to harmonise regulations and standards with internationally accepted norms to ensure incorporation of global best practices.

The next presentation was on best practices in green hydrogen standards and regulations development by Mr. Rahul Bagdia, Managing Director & Co-Founder of pManifold Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd. pManifold and the Consortium of IIT Madras and Royal Haskoning DHV shared their findings for the development of internationally compatible green hydrogen standards in India.

Ms. Nikki Blankerts, Energy Transition Consultant at Royal Haskoning DHV (RHDHV), shared her insights on best practices in the European Union context and the current status of the Renewable Energy Directive. According to her, the right combination of directives, technical standards and certification is essential to create a market for green hydrogen. For India's green hydrogen export potential, it is essential that India complies with EU regulations on renewable hydrogen production and that the transport and industrial sectors of Red II drive demand for green hydrogen in Europe. In addition to a clear regulatory framework, standardisation of electricity grids and power-to-x technologies, as well as gas quality issues, are needed to drive growth.

Dr. Aravind Kumar Chandiran, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT-Madras, spoke about the progress in developing green hydrogen standards in India. He explained the difference between international and Indian standards for different sub-elements of the value chain such as the electrolyser storage system. Dr. Chandiran concluded his presentation by suggesting that existing hydrogen standards should be used and adapted instead of developing everything from scratch.

The presentations were followed by an open Q&A session, which were moderated by the Co-Heads of the subworking group 4. A key outcome of the fruitful discussion was that the MNRE reports, due for publication in the coming weeks, would provide German companies with information on the standards needed for their projects with India. Issues such as adaptation of standards and detailed standards for transport and storage were also addressed.

The virtual roundtable was concluded with remarks from Mr Tobias Winter, Director and Mr Gaurav Sharma, Technical Advisor on Green Hydrogen, IGEF-SO. The IGEF-SO recommended to the group to make full use of the work already done and to synchronise efforts, as there is already a lot of input collected in the last Indo-German Green Hydrogen Task Force meetings. It was recommended to further interact with the MNRE working groups - Subgroup I (hydrogen production and use), Subgroup II (hydrogen storage and transport) and Subgroup III (hydrogen powered mobility applications). In addition, Mr Sharma suggested focusing on green hydrogen production such as electrolysis, storage, basic safety considerations for hydrogen systems and certification of greenhouse gas accounting across the value chain.

Please find the presentation below:

Presentation on Gap Analysis: Hydrogen Standards by Mr. Prashant K. Banerjee

Presentation on Best Practices in Green Hydrogen Standards & Regulations Development: EU Case Study and Mapping to India by Mr. Rahul Bagdia, Nikki Blankerts and Dr. Aravind Kumar Chandiran