Green Hydrogen – A Catalytic Force in Global Decarbonization

Green hydrogen has emerged as a catalytic force in the global efforts to decarbonize our planet. Often referred to as the ‘fuel of the future’, green hydrogen holds transformative potential, particularly in addressing the emission challenges of hard-to-abate sectors like steel, cement, etc. To support the green hydrogen ecosystem in the country, the Government of India has approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission and allocated Rs 19,744 crores. This funding aims to stimulate the sector through the Strategic Intervention for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) and Production Linked Incentives (PLI) for manufacturers of electrolysers, generators of green hydrogen, and its derivatives. A noteworthy aspect is the Government’s technological openness during the formulation of the SIGHT document, emphasizing a balanced focus on research and development.

Although green hydrogen technology remains in its infancy, recent developments in laboratory research combined with industrial enthusiasm have yielded promising outcomes. While current commercial technologies exhibit relatively low yields and purity, the pace of technological advancement is significant. It is anticipated that the sector will experience substantial growth in the coming years and India will emerge as one of the global leaders in the green hydrogen space by 2030.

The mission has outlined with the production target of 5 million metric tons (MMT) of green hydrogen and its derivatives by 2030. The mission is also projected to attract investments exceeding Rs 8,00,000 crores and generating over 6,00,000 job opportunities. Beyond economic benefits, the initiative is anticipated to substantially reduce fossil fuel imports by over Rs 1,00,000 crores and contribute to abating nearly 50 million metric tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Taking a cue from the mission, many states are proposing their own green hydrogen policies to support and develop green hydrogen ecosystems in their respective states.

With the G20 Presidency, India is playing a key role in driving global conversations on sustainable energy transitions. The G20 platform has enabled India to steer discussions towards clean energy imperatives, fostering an environment where nations can collectively address shared challenges, leverage each other’s strengths to advance green hydrogen technology, advocate for harmonization of standards and accelerate innovation in green hydrogen. India’s potential to lead in this sector hinges upon excellence in research and development and the localisation of cutting-edge technologies. 

As the B20 India secretariat, CII is playing a key role in orchestrating a comprehensive approach to green hydrogen and its derivatives. CII is engaged in bilateral and multilateral discussions, emphasizing enhanced cooperation between nations working in the green hydrogen space. The recent energy security concerns arising from geopolitical tensions underscore the need for resilient global supply chains in the energy sector. CII has been consistently advocating for a robust global clean energy market, particularly for developing economies. 

CII has constituted a Taskforce on Green Hydrogen, aligned with the Government’s National Green Hydrogen Mission to supplement its efforts. This taskforce has been engaging with the relevant ministries and state governments. CII is also actively participating in the process of formalisation of the standards and codes for green hydrogen production. CII played a significant role in drafting the mission document. Presently, CII is member of the Advisory Group on Green Hydrogen, Drafting Committee on R&D in Green Hydrogen, and Convenor of the Sub-group I on Hydrogen Production & Use under the Working Group on Regulation, Standards & Codes of the National Green Hydrogen Mission of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Government of India. 

Recently, CII partnered with key ministries to organize the first ever International Conference on Green Hydrogen in New Delhi. In addition to thematic sessions and technical deliberations on establishing a green hydrogen ecosystem in India, country specific roundtables on trade and technological collaborations were also organized. 

As we look ahead, the convergence of policy support, technological innovation, and collaborative partnerships is pivotal to realize India’s vision to become a global leader in the field of green hydrogen. By harnessing our strengths in R&D and technology indigenization, we can lay the foundation for a sustainable future.

This article was first published in the August 2023 edition of CII Policy Watch, focused on Green Hydrogen.

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