Niti Aayog proposes Green Hydrogen Corridors in India in its new report

Ritu Jha-

A newly published report by the Narendra Modi government’s planning unit Niti Aayog has suggested that the country needs Green Hydrogen Corridors and that the government should prepare a policy framework to provide grants to start-ups and entrepreneurs keen to promote green hydrogen.

However, Dhaval J. Brahmbhatt, President & CEO, PHYchip Corporation and Vice-Chairman (former Chairman) IEEE Vehicle Technology Society San Francisco Bay Area and a big proponent of hydrogen fuel-led vehicles welcomed the move says, “Building refueling infrastructure has to go hand-in-hand with the production of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, otherwise it this huge initiative taken by the Government of India would likely face significant risks.” [CLICK to read his exclusive interview]

The report titled “Harnessing Green Hydrogen- Opportunities for Decarbonization in India” released on June 29 suggests that the state governments should expedite investment through demand aggregation and dollar-based bidding for green hydrogen.

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant at the launch of the report said, “India needs to form Green Hydrogen Corridors, (as) it is critical for making India a huge exporter, a leader in climate mitigation and achieving our target of 500 GW renewable energy capacity by 2030.”

The 87-page report was authored by Kowtham Raj, NITI Aayog, Pranav Lakhina and Clay Stranger from Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). It has suggested the three hydrogen corridors should be built across the country based on state grand challenges. The governments can provide loans and grants to start-ups and projects, support entrepreneurs through incubators and investor networks, and put in place regulations, that manage first-mover risks.

The report further suggests that the government can use public procurement and purchase incentives (for green hydrogen) to create demand in niche markets and private investments.

Another suggestion from the Niti Aayog is to promote export of green hydrogen by the government and green hydrogen-embedded products through a global hydrogen alliance.

Hydrogen/ammonia, produced by way of electrolysis of water using renewable energy, including banked renewable energy and biomass-derived hydrogen/ammonia is known as green hydrogen.

Most of the large global economies including India have committed to new zero targets. For the purpose of reducing emissions transition to green hydrogen and green ammonia is a pre-requisite, especially in the hard-to-abate sectors.

By 2050 the hydrogen demand in India is expected to grow more than four times, taking its share of the global hydrogen demand to around 10 percent.

The demand growth is expected to be fuelled by heavy-duty trucking and steel, accounting for almost 52 percent of the hydrogen demand by 2050, the report stated.

Various state governments have been asked to prepare a timeline and scale of manufacturing support for electrolyzers, like setting a target of 25 GW electrolyzers by 2030 along with a proposed investment of US$ 1 billion for research and development into commercial green hydrogen technologies across the value chain.

The report observes that radically improving the speed of regulatory clearances and giving preferential treatment in public tenders will help catalyze local manufacturing.

“Grand challenges, public-private venture capital, and financing test bench infrastructure could be included in the research and development investments,” the report stated.