FTI outlines eight pillars of India's green hydrogen roadmap

11 December 2020 Consultancy.in
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In a new report, FTI consulting has laid down eight strategies that India should follow to put its green hydrogen ecosystem on track. The roadmap is based on global best practices and inputs from various energy industry stakeholders.

Splitting water molecules into liquid hydrogen and oxygen using a process called electrolysis has been common practice for years now. Oxygen is the only byproduct, while hydrogen can be used as a low-emission alternative to fuel. More recently, energy companies have been using renewable sources to power the electrolysis process in itself.

The resultant fuel-grade hydrogen is produced with no carbon emissions whatsoever – hence the label ‘green hydrogen.’ Major economies around the world – Europe, US, China, Japan – have been giving green hydrogen a fairly central position in their energy landscape. India is lagging behind – a scenario that is far from sustainable given the country’s high emission levels.

India green hydrogen roadmap

“The imperative to decarbonise the Indian economy is drawn from the poor air quality in Indian cities, high fossil fuel import bill and concerns about India’s energy security. Despite national efforts with climate change actions, India’s fossil fuel consumption, of both oil and gas, as well as that of coal, is expected to continue to rise to meet the economy’s voracious appetite for energy in any form,” explained Amrit Singh Deo, Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting.

No doubt, the Indian government has climate initiatives in place, with heavy investments in renewable energy and a targeted electric vehicle policy. That being said, Deo believes the government is missing a trick with respect to green hydrogen, from an emissions standpoint and an economic one.

“India has a domestic manufacturing opportunity to building hydrogen system components for the global supply chain if policymakers and industry players can collaborate closely. An aspirational 4 percent target and funding for large demonstration-stage green hydrogen projects will be important for a renewable energy-backed hydrogen economy in India.”

“Hydrogen, coupled with renewables, electric vehicles and battery technology, offers a clear path to a zero-carbon future.”

The green hydrogen roadmap

With this ambitious target in mind, FTI Consulting researchers sat down with a focus group of 50 energy sector stakeholders to chart the course ahead. From the government, the group had representation from the NITI Aayog, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Ministry of Road and Highways. This was in addition to more than 20 energy companies – 14 global and the rest domestic – as well as energy experts, multilateral organisations, commentators and academics.

Based on their deliberations, the consultancy outline eight pillars of India’s green hydrogen roadmap:

  1. Creation of a National Hydrogen Policy and Roadmap by 2021, in collaboration between government and industry
  2. Creation of the H2India Hydrogen Taskforce and Workgroups, to implement the roadmap
  3. Setting up a Green Hydrogen Investment Fund of $100 million to be deployed in next five years till 2025, followed by a larger $500 million Hydrogen Fund to be raised for 2025-2030
  4. Setting a national aspiration for four percent hydrogen share in national energy mix by 2030
  5. Creation of an Inter-ministerial green hydrogen government cell to ensure adherence to globally harmonised standards
  6. Blending hydrogen production with use-cases across natural gas, exploratory natural gas and coal-gasified grey hydrogen projects
  7. Identify at least ten potential H2India national hydrogen projects for large-scale demonstration projects
  8. Setting fiscal incentives for large-scale national H2 projects among partnerships and industry consortiums