Green Hydrogen Is Critical to India’s Economic Development:NITI Aayog


    In News 

    Recently ,NITI Aayog released a report titled  Harnessing Green Hydrogen: Opportunities for Deep Decarbonisation in India .

    • The report, co-authored by NITI Aayog and RMI.


    • RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5° C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero carbon future for all.

    Major Highlights 

    • It provides a pathway to accelerate the emergence of a green hydrogen economy, which is critical for India to achieve its net-zero ambitions by 2070.
    • It highlights that green hydrogen can substantially spur industrial decarbonisation and economic growth for India in the coming decades.
      • It can potentially provide a replacement of fossil fuels in industrial processes.
    • Its underscores that green hydrogen  will be crucial for achieving decarbonisation of harder-to-abate sectors such as fertilisers, refining, methanol, maritime shipping, iron & steel and transport. 
    • The report concludes that hydrogen demand in India could grow more than fourfold by 2050, representing almost 10% of global demand
      • Given that the majority of this demand could be met with green hydrogen in the long term, the cumulative value of the green hydrogen market in India could reach US $8 billion by 2030.

    Suggestions /Pathways

    • The report describes pathways that can capture the benefits of green hydrogen
      • Near-term policy measures can bring down the current costs of green hydrogen to make it competitive with the existing grey hydrogen (hydrogen produced by natural gas) prices.
      •  Medium-term price targets should be set to guide the industry towards making green hydrogen the most competitive form of hydrogen.
      • Governments can encourage near term market development by identifying industrial clusters and enacting associated viability gap funding, mandates and targets.
      • Opportunities around research and development and manufacturing of components like electrolysers need to be identified and appropriately encouraged with adequate financial mechanisms such as production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes to enable 25 GW of manufacturing capacity of electrolysers by 2028.
      • A globally competitive green hydrogen industry can lead to exports in green hydrogen and hydrogen-embedded low-carbon products like green ammonia and green steel that can unlock 95 GW of electrolysis capacity in the nation by 2030.

    Green Hydrogen

    • It is produced through electrolysis using renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind or hydel power.
    • Green hydrogen gas is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyzer that may be powered by electricity generated from renewable energy sources.
    • The rapidly declining cost of renewable energy is one reason for the growing interest in green hydrogen.
    • Green Hydrogen is one of the most popular and demanding fields in the current times and considered to be the next carrier of energy.
    • India’s Green Hydrogen production  :India has just begun to generate green hydrogen with the objective of raising non-fossil energy capacity to 500 gigawatts by 2030. On April 20, India’s first 99.99% pure green hydrogen pilot plant was set up in eastern Assam’s Duliajan.

    Why is India pursuing green hydrogen?

    • Under the Paris Agreement of 2015, India is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 33-35% from the 2005 levels.
      • It is a legally binding international treaty on climate change with the goal of limiting global warming to below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. 
    • At the 2021 Conference of Parties in Glasgow, India reiterated its commitment to move from a fossil and import-dependent economy to a net-zero economy by 2070
    • India’s average annual energy import bill is more than $100 billion.
    • The increased consumption of fossil fuel has made the country a high carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter, accounting for nearly 7% of the global CO2 burden. 
    • In order to become energy independent by 2047, the government stressed the need to introduce green hydrogen as an alternative fuel that can make India the global hub and a major exporter of hydrogen.
    • It will benefit India’s transportation sector (which contributes 1/3 of India’s greenhouse-gas emissions), iron and steel and chemical sectors.
    • Hydrogen energy can provide impetus to India’s aim to decarbonise by 2050 and attain 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022.
    • The energy in 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of hydrogen gas contains about the same as the energy in 1 gallon (6.2 pounds, 2.8 kilograms) of gasoline.

    Other types of Hydrogen: 

    Image Courtesy: WEF