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3 March 2022, Gateway House

Achieving the Promise of Hydrogen for India and the World

On February 17, India launched the Green Hydrogen Policy which facilitates the production of hydrogen and ammonia to replace fossil fuels. Produced from water by electrolysis, green hydrogen offers a way to store renewable energy in bulk. This paper analyses the viability of green hydrogen in India as a vehicle fuel and industrial gas, and makes recommendations for the usage of this clean energy source by companies, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers.

Senior Fellow, Energy, Investment and Connectivity

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This paper studies and analyses the viability of using green hydrogen as a vehicle fuel and as an industrial gas, the reasons it is necessary to consider, and recommendations for companies, entrepreneurs and policy-makers to enable the use of this clean energy source. The advent of cheap renewable energy has made it possible to produce hydrogen from water by electrolysis, also called green hydrogen. Green hydrogen offers a way to store renewable energy in bulk, not possible otherwise with existing battery technologies. In this role, green hydrogen can serve as a multiplier for renewable electricity.

Interest in green hydrogen has risen in line with environmental concerns and most major economies including India have a hydrogen plan in place. For India, the use of hydrogen in transport offers an additional advantage – reduced import dependence on minerals such as lithium and cobalt, which have unproven and potentially unreliable supply chains.

Based on our study of the hydrogen market, we feel that wider adoption of green hydrogen can be made easier by first using it in existing applications such as petroleum refineries, as a replacement for grey hydrogen (produced from fossil fuels). This approach will ensure that investments made in the production of green hydrogen don’t become stranded assets. The use of green hydrogen in vehicles can be pioneered by using it in gated infrastructure such as ports and warehouses, which will not require the creation of a geographically dispersed fuelling infrastructure. Finally, India also needs to enable its vibrant start-up sector, which can come up with new technologies as well as business models by directing risk capital towards innovators working on green hydrogen.


Hydrogen Paper cover

This paper is authored by Amit Bhandari, Senior Fellow, Energy, Investment and Connectivity, Chaitanya Giri, former Fellow, Space and Ocean Studies, and Saeeduddin Faridi, Researcher. Read the paper.

This paper was exclusively written for Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations. You can read exclusive content here.

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