Green hydrogen production slightly more expensive at the moment: Azure Power CEO – ET Auto

With respect to using green hydrogen for mobility, Azure Power CEO Ranjit Gupta was of the view that few years from now, electric vehicles would still be cheaper than hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

New Delhi: The path for green hydrogen in the country is not clear and at the moment, production of green hydrogen is slightly more expensive than grey hydrogen, Azure Power CEO Ranjit Gupta said on Tuesday. He made the remarks while participating in a session on renewable energy at a virtual summit of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, North India Council (IACC-NIC).

“The path is not clear that how this will all happen… at the moment the green hydrogen is slightly more expensive, just to produce. Though we can see a path for green hydrogen to be the same as grey or lower (priced) in the next four or five years,” Gupta said.

Gupta’s comments assume significance in view of the government’s intention to promote green hydrogen and the plan to introduce a production linked incentive scheme for this clean fuel.

Besides, bids for setting up of green hydrogen capacity or electrolysers are expected in a few months from now.

The proposal to mandate refineries and fertilisers plants to use a proportion of green hydrogen in their total consumption will also be placed before the Union Cabinet for approval in the coming days.

According to Gupta, if electrolysers are placed at the refineries or fertilisers plants to produce and use green hydrogen, then it is fine. Otherwise, its transportation for usage in electric vehicles or for manufacturing would a difficult issue to resolve, he pointed out.

For convenient transportation, there is an idea to convert green hydrogen into ammonia after reaching the destination, again convert the ammonia into green hydrogen.

Gupta opined that this conversion of green hydrogen into ammonia for transportation would lead to tremendous losses.

For this process of conversion, one has to put 50 units (kilowatt hour) of electricity for one kilogram of green hydrogen and at the the end of the process, only 17Kwh or units of energy would be left, he pointed out.

With respect to using green hydrogen for mobility, Gupta was of the view that few years from now, electric vehicles would still be cheaper than hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

“If you use hydrogen for long haul vehicles or trucks, then I don’t know whether the scale would support the reduction in price we are looking at,” he added.

IACC-NIC’s Energy Committee Chairman Sunil Jain said that as electric vehicles make way into the economy, the demand for energy will go up significantly and this has to be powered by green and clean energy. “This all requires large amount of capital. We expect that around USD 500 billion to USD 700 billion will be required to achieve our 450 GW goals along with battery storage systems”.

He also noted that green hydrogen would require separate capital.

“So, we could see investments of around a trillion dollars to have a sustainable climate mitigation model for the country over the next 10-12 years. This is an area where US has to support the plans of developing nations so that the world at large meets the COP21 agreed targets of temperature rise.

“We expect that finance will play an important role in Indo-US cooperation to fight climate change and the seriousness of the same can be gauged by John Kerry’s second visit in the last three months,” he added.

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Schlumberger estimates that global investments for industries moving away from fossil fuels could balloon from $300 billion a year in recent years to $1.6 trillion annually between 2030 and 2040.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has said that the company has started developing the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex over 5,000 acres in Jamnagar.

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