Transformation in India’s Energy Ecosystem

Context:

• India’s Green Hydrogen Policy released on February 17, 2022 has addressed several critical challenges such as open access, waiver of inter-state transmission charges, banking, time-bound clearances, etc., and is expected to further boost India’s energy transition.

Consumption in India:

• India’s energy usage per capita is around a third of the global average and a twelfth of that of the United States.
• India’s energy appetite would be greatly increased by increased growth and economic prosperity, thus increasing its reliance on imports.
• This, combined with price volatility, as witnessed during the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the roller-coaster ride of energy prices from historic lows in 2020 to record highs in 2021, might represent a severe danger to our energy security, emphasising the unmistakable necessity to pursue energy independence.

Why hydrogen as an alternative?

• When compared to other sources of energy hydrogen can be stored in a huge scale and for longer durations.
• Hydrogen has a major role to play in the decarbonisation of India’s transport sector.
• The advantages of fuel cell vehicles over battery electric vehicles are faster fuelling and long-driving range thereby making them ideal for long-haul transportation which is a major constraint with Li-Ion batteries.
• In the Industrial segment, hydrogen has the potential to de-carbonise huge sectors such as iron and steel, copper, aluminum.

Current Status:

• According to The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India’s hydrogen consumption was around 7 Mt in 2020 and is expected to jump to around 28 Mt in 2050.
• By 2050, we can predict a need of 35 Mt, assuming 25% export capacity. Based on this assumption, we may estimate that by 2050, India will require a total capacity of 192 GW to 224 GW of electrolysers, assuming that all of it is green hydrogen.

• In 2021, the global capacity of electrolysers will have surpassed 300 MW. This means that by 2050, India would require an electrolyser capacity that is 640 to 750 times the current global capacity.

Challenges:

• The major challenge in producing hydrogen fuel is in its high production costs and scarcity of water.
• It is estimated that production of 1 kg of hydrogen by electrolysis requires around nine litres of water.

Source: THE HINDU.

 

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