H2Tech - Q2 2022 - 16

Current energy programs underway in India (e.g., electricity
for all and gas for every household for cooking)-if
scaled up in proportion to population-add more carbon
dioxide (CO2
) emissions. This is inevitable and challenging
for a government that has an agenda of elevating the lower
strata ring of society to higher social classes. Apart from this,
investments in carbon-intensive projects that have begun operations
or are under development must be factored into the
challenge of reducing carbon emissions and increasing economic
growth. A balance must be struck by decarbonizing
future growth programs through the adoption of green technologies
and transforming existing operations towards a carbon
reduction program. How quickly companies can acquire
or develop these technologies will determine the timeframe
and growth trajectory towards decarbonization. Sectors with
high carbon and energy intensities that must adopt greener
technologies to limit emissions are cement, iron and steel,
aluminium, fertilizers, oil and gas, and power generation.
Renewable power development should be first since it is
this power that will go into the electrolysis of water to produce
and ammonia, which will be used for transportation
and for heating and cooling applications. Self-sufficiency in
green power generation is attributed to massive technological
innovation in batteries for a higher kilovolt ampere (kVA)/
kg, solar panels for higher photovoltaic (PV) conversion efficiency,
new generation electrolyzers for H2
production, higher
motor efficiency and reduced energy transmission loss.
This will require additional capital spending, which will need
help from private and cooperative sectors. Also, digitization,
Internet of Things, information technology-enabled services,
augmented reality and artificial intelligence will be beneficial
in promoting innovations to reduce emissions.
Perspective plan. All 27 European Union (EU) member
states committed to converting the EU into the first climateneutral
continent by 2050. To achieve this goal, they pledged
to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990
levels. With fossil fuel energy being replaced by renewables, it
is natural that many jobs across various sectors will disappear;
therefore, government intervention will be required to retrain
workers. India has conceived a roadmap for complete energy
independence by 2047, with the interim targets of 175 GW
renewable energy generation by 2023 and 450 GW by 2030.
Since October 2021, India's installed renewable energy capacity
is more than 100 GW, with 50 GW being solar power.
According to the International Energy Agency's Global
Hydrogen Review 2021, India produces 7 MMtpy of gray H2
Gray H2 is produced from natural gas, refinery offgas and coal
and used in refineries, ammonia, methanol, other chemicals
and steel production through the direct reduced iron process.
This is also supplemented by an additional 82,000 tpy of H2
produced from chloralkali plants, which is used for chemical
synthesis and as fuel. H2
demand is forecast to increase to 11
MMtpy by 2030.Major industry operators-Adani, ArcelorMittal,
Indian Oil Corp., NTPC Ltd., Reliance Industries and
the Solar Energy Corp. of India-announced capital-intensive
plans to develop low-carbon H2
In 2021, India launched the National Hydrogen Mission
with the intent to explore policy actions to support the use of
16 Q2 2022 | H2-Tech.com
H2 as an energy vector and develop a global H2
hub and fuel cell technology hardware production center.
The government has already mandated quotas for using
renewable H2
in refining and ammonia production. Accord,
increasing to 25% in
in 2023, increasing to 20% in the
ing to the proposal, starting in 2023, 10% of refineries' H2
demand must come from renewable H2
the following 5 yr. Fertilizer producers must meet 5% of H2
demand with renewable H2
future. This proposal is expected to be extended into the steel
industry, as well.
The deployment of H2
in the many different sectors of
India will occur on different timeframes and for different
reasons. Industry will take the lead in the steel, ammonia,
refining and methanol sectors followed by battery-operated
electrical vehicles. In power, H2
and its conversion to ammonia
could be a cost-effective way
of providing inter-seasonal storage in a high-variable renewable
electricity system from 2040.
Wherever possible, the direct use of renewable power
should be preferred. H2
should be a second option for energy storage, preferably
for long distance hauling, aircrafts and marine vessels. The
development of industrial conglomerates would attract technical
and commercial viability of H2
use for manufacturing
Renewed drive for decarbonization. Regarding technological
advances in several industrial sectors, the approach taken
by the Indian government towards fostering a H2
for the country has been quick and timely. Modi has encouraged
the importance of aligning with ongoing technological
developments in the H2
sector as a sustainable alternative to
fossil energy and the need to build inhouse expertise through
active participation in research and innovation in this area.
The India government also plans to support these projects via
funding (e.g., viability gap funding). The government should
set targets for electrolyzer deployments by 2030 and incentivize
domestic manufacturing of electrolyzers under the government's
" Make in India " program. This would provide substantial
business opportunities for future development.
How quickly global carbon neutrality can be attained beyond
2050 will depend on the commitments of major emitters
such as China, India and the U.S. The quicker these countries
succeed in decarbonizing their activities, the faster that global
carbon neutrality will be achieved. In the interim, the author
expects substantial progress among the developed countries
towards this goal by 2050.
After 2050, China, India and the U.S. will accelerate the
progress towards decarbonization, and the attainment of
global neutrality will be hastened. As things stand currently,
this is expected to happen around 2060-2070.
MP SUKUMARAN NAIR is the Director of the Center for
Green Technology and Management and the President of the
Thrikkakara Municipal Co-operative Hospital Society in Cochin,
Kerala, India. Prior to this position, Dr. Nair has held various
positions for the government of Kerala, including Chairman
of the Public Sector Restructuring and Audit Board, and
Chairman and Managing Director of Travancore Titanium
Products Ltd. He has earned a BS degree in chemistry and AMIE chemical
engineering, a postgraduate degree in ecology and environment, an MBA
and a PhD in environmental management.

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