India is Committed to Ushering-in the Hydrogen Economy: D. Pradhan

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said that India is looking towards various colours to kick-start the hydrogen ecosystem development. Addressing the Hydrogen Round Table on “Hydrogen Economy: New Delhi Dialogue – 2021”, he said that in India, we have taken various initiatives with respect to the greater use of hydrogen in India’s energy mix.

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The Government of India had recently announced the National Hydrogen Mission in the Union Budget 2021 for making a hydrogen roadmap for the country.

“We are working on a pilot project on Blue Hydrogen, Hydrogen CNG (H-CNG) and Green Hydrogen. Through technological advancements, we are blending hydrogen with compressed natural gas for use as a transportation fuel as well as an industrial input to refineries. 50 buses in Delhi are plying on blended hydrogen in Compressed Natural Gas on a pilot basis. We plan to scale it up in the coming months across the major cities of India,” the minister said.

Pradhan said that the contours of India’s energy transition are changing fast. “PM Narendra Modi has outlined a new energy map of India in October last year with seven key drivers, and, indeed, one of them is development of emerging fuels, particularly Hydrogen.”

He said that hydrogen has great potential to emerge as a future source of energy. “The enthusiasm about hydrogen has a simple reason: whether it’s used in a fuel cell or burned to create heat, wherever hydrogen replaces fossil fuels, it slows global warming. Inclusion of “Hydrogen” as an energy carrier in the future energy portfolio presents a unique opportunity to address emerging energy vectors, including power to gas, power to power, and power to mobility and even vehicle to grid applications.”

The Petroleum and Natural Gas minister said that the ministry is committed to augmenting the hydrogen supply chain infrastructure in the country. “Presently, as in the case of other countries, our petroleum sector is the largest producer of hydrogen for various refinery process operations. Hence, we realize petroleum sector’s capability to produce hydrogen molecules, stored and traded as gas, making it a natural votary of this new energy form. It provides us an opportunity to utilise existing business models and infrastructure unlike other e-options.”

“We are well on track to achieve 450 GW target of renewable energy generating capacity by 2030, he added. “Diversification of our energy basket would be the key lever enabling this transition. However, it is equally important that the new energy-mix options synergise and co-exist with the established base technology already operational in the respective countries, in which, huge capital investments have been made. That’s why the emergence of hydrogen at the centre stage is a welcome development.”

The minister also suggested that by establishing synergies with natural gas, hydrogen can be easily adopted in the energy mix without seeking major infrastructural overhauling. And informed that the government is looking forward to introduce H-CNG as an intermittent technology in a ‘big way’ for both automotive and domestic cooking applications.

The minister also said that the refineries are planning to leverage the available surplus hydrogen capacities in gray form for meeting the initial demand in mainstreaming hydrogen. And that one such project is underway at a Gujarat refinery of Indian Oil wherein the combination of hydrogen production through natural gas and its hyphenation with the carbon capture technology will result in the production of blue hydrogen. “Multiple buses powered by fuel cells will be covering various iconic routes. Efforts are underway to leverage the vast CNG pipeline infrastructure to reduce the transportation cost of hydrogen,” he said. Hydrogen in India Pradhan

The Minister announced that India, with its steadfast efforts towards leading the energy transition, backed by robust political will, is committed to engage with partners to ushering-in the hydrogen economy.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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