India is banking on green hydrogen production… and FCEVs

India, one of the most polluted countries in the world, is trying to green its environment. And rely on the large-scale production of green hydrogen.

As a reminder, green hydrogen is produced from clean and renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal and from biomass) through the electrolysis of water.

India wants to become a pioneer when it comes to green hydrogen

The Indian government has unveiled the first phase of an initiative to make India, the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, a “hub” for green hydrogen production.

The booming country is on track to become the world’s most populous country… and the most polluted… this decade. Faced with this prospect, India aims to become a major player in this sector and launches its Green Hydrogen Mission. The Indian government is thus trying to achieve its climate goals.

Incentives for Manufacturers

Part of this plan includes incentives for manufacturers, such as the free supply of renewable electricity for 25 years to produce hydrogen, but also ammonia, which is used in fertilizer.

You will notice in passing that the process “sold” as an environmentally friendly solution still consumes a lot of energy…

Areas in renewable energy parks will also be allocated for the production of green hydrogen and ammonia, and bunkers for storing and exporting green ammonia will be built near ports, according to a government document.

Cleaner fuel and less dependency

“The implementation of this policy will provide clean fuel to the people of the country. This will reduce dependence on fossil fuels as well as crude oil imports,” the Energy Department said.

The government plans to offer subsidies and force oil refiners and fertilizer plants to use the fuel in the second phase, which is still in preparation, Energy Minister Raj Kumar Singh said on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg News.

According to the project, the country should produce five million tons of green hydrogen per year by 2030.

A “solution” for high costs

However, when this technology is presented to us as a future means of reducing CO2 emissions, it still encounters many obstacles, including the high cost of the necessary infrastructure.

In November 2021, at the Glasgow climate summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2070 (!!!! in 50 years, the equivalent of two generations!)… hoping rich countries would fund the transition .

“The energy demand of the Indian population is expected to almost double in the next 20 years. Denying this energy would mean denying even millions of lives,” Modi stressed this week.
“Developed countries must honor their commitments in terms of financing and technology transfer,” he reminded on Wednesday at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD).
Indian industrialists including Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, major players in the coal and oil sectors, have also announced major investments in renewable technologies, including green hydrogen.

Our opinion, from

A major call from the Indian government to encourage western countries to transfer technology in this area. Both in hydrogen production and in the development of engines and automobiles?

Last September, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that India had revised its proposed $8 billion auto program to focus on EV development and production incentives and on hydrogen.

This is a significant change from the government’s original plan to incentivize auto and auto parts makers to build mainly gas-powered vehicles and their components for domestic sales and export, with some additional benefits for electric vehicles.

Under the new proposal, India is set to incentivize automakers to build only electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered cars.

The stimulus program is part of the Indian government’s broader $27 billion program to attract global manufacturers to boost domestic production and exports.

In March 2021, Hyundai received approval for its Nexo fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) from the Indian authorities. This is expected to be the first hydrogen vehicle in India. The automaker claims it’s “the ultimate green mobility solution.”

The Hyundai Nexo powertrain includes a 95 kW fuel cell and a 40 kW battery. The SUV has an electric motor that develops a maximum power of 161 hp and 395 Nm of torque. The fuel cell SUV has three hydrogen tanks with a total volume of 156.6 liters, contributing to a WLTP-certified range of 666 km. These hydrogen tanks can be filled in just 5 minutes.

The launch in India is scheduled for March 15, 2022.

Sources: AFP, Reuters, Hyundai, Indian Press

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