Whenever there is a conflict in any oil and gas-rich country of the world, India’s macroeconomic situation deteriorates. The dependence of the country on imports to meet its energy needs means whenever the oil and gas prices rise, we are forced to shell out billions of dollars.
The Russia-Ukraine crisis has sent the oil and gas sky high and India is again being forced to shell out billions of dollars extra for the same amount of imports. Although the country has more than 600 billion dollars of foreign exchange reserves and there is no risk of macroeconomic crisis, it is not a desirable situation. Thus, it is time to make heavy investments in alternative energy sources to end dependence on foreign countries.
For the last few years, Prime Minister Modi has given repeated calls to make the country AatmaNirbhar in energy. The government has set 2047 as the target year to make the country AatmaNirbhar in energy but given the increasing instability in the world, we must achieve the target earlier.
The sector that holds the highest potential to make the country AatmaNirbhar in energy is green hydrogen. Recently the Ministry of Power has announced multiple benefits for businesses investing in the production of hydrogen energy.
As per the press release of the ministry, the hydrogen energy producers will get a waiver of inter-state transmission charges for 25 years on the projects commissioned before 30th June 2025. Open access will be granted within 15 days of receipt of an application, connectivity to the grid on a priority basis to avoid any procedural delay and many others.
The companies like Reliance Industries Limited, L&T, which are investing in green hydrogen energy, have given very positive reviews of the government’s policy. Energy companies in traditional sectors such as petrochemicals are also very encouraged by the new policy and may consider making investments in this technology.
According to many analysts, the cost of hydrogen energy can be brought down even less than solar energy.
Green hydrogen production costs come to Rs 500 per kg, and if the price can be brought down by half through scale, efficiency, and technology – it will become a very competitive fuel.
The hydrogen is classified as blue, green, or grey based on how it is formed. When natural gas is split into hydrogen and CO2, it is blue hydrogen. The CO2 is captured and then stored. Grey hydrogen is formed the way blue hydrogen is, but in this process, the CO2 is not captured and is released into the atmosphere.
Green hydrogen is the fuel produced through the electrolysis of water with the use of renewable power. The water is thus split into hydrogen and oxygen. The green hydrogen produced in this
process is free from any emissions as cleaner technologies like solar power or wind power can be used for the entire process. Also, green hydrogen has numerous applications like industrial feedstock, fuel cell vehicles, and energy storage.
Presently, the production of fuel is an expensive process and remains a nascent technology. However, India is looking to develop itself as a global hub of clean energy. If the country can produce green hydrogen energy at globally competitive rates, India would become a net exporter of energy.
India is already the fourth-largest producer of new and renewable energy, and under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the country may become a global leader in a few green energy areas like hydrogen energy and biofuels if the right policies are put to encourage the industrialist to invest in these areas.