Indian Hydrogen Industry Trends Outlook 2024
An energy carrier that can be used to transport, store, and distribute energy generated from other sources is Hydrogen. Hydrogen is the most prevalent element on Earth and can be found in everything, from fossil fuels to water to plants, yet it never occurs naturally in its pure form. Fuel-grade hydrogen can be generated via a variety of procedures using a wide range of resources. Electrolysis and steam-methane reformation are the two most used processes for creating hydrogen. Grey, Blue, and Green are the three categories into which hydrogen is divided based on the type of extraction technique used.
- Grey Hydrogen in India
Grey hydrogen is the least renewable kind of hydrogen because it is made from fossil fuels and natural gas. Grey hydrogen makes up most of the hydrogen produced today. It is widely used in the chemical sector to make fertilizer, and for refining oil since it is reasonably priced. To produce grey hydrogen, natural gas is processed via a method called steam-methane reforming, which rearranges the molecular structure of hydrocarbons. In this procedure, the main part of natural gas, methane, is combined with steam at an elevated temperature to catalyze a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide and hydrogen.
India is already one of the world's top users of hydrogen, accounting for approximately 5%-9% of global consumption. India used 7.5 MMT (million metric tons) of hydrogen in 2018–19, with the oil refineries industry closely trailing the fertilizer sector, which topped the leaderboard with 3.6 MMT (million metric tons) overall. Yet grey hydrogen makes up most of the hydrogen used. Currently, a kilogram of grey hydrogen costs between INR 150 and INR 230. This is because the price of grey hydrogen is based on natural gas, which has unstable prices.
- Blue Hydrogen in India
Blue hydrogen was created using the same chemical processing method as grey hydrogen but with one major difference. Natural gas is used as feedstock instead of water to make blue hydrogen. Firstly, natural gas is converted into the form of hydrogen and carbon dioxide through a process called steam-methane reforming. After that, the carbon dioxide is collected and stored underground, this procedure is called carbon capture, use, and storage. (CCUS) But this storage is expensive and logistically difficult.
India's Reliance Industries Ltd. plans to produce blue hydrogen at a competitive cost of about USD 1.4 to USD 1.8 per kg as it repurposes its USD 4 Billion gasification assets. Reliance has in the past years unveiled plans to reduce its dependence on its mainstay oil-to-chemicals business and invested in clean energy projects to burnish its green credentials. Until the cost of green hydrogen decreases, Reliance will create blue hydrogen for its Jamnagar complex in western Gujarat state using syngas, which is produced when Pet coke gasifies.
- Green Hydrogen in India
The most prevalent type of hydrogen is green hydrogen, which is created without the use of carbon capture and storage technologies by using fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. In this process, fossil fuel is gasified at a hot temperature to produce hydrogen gas. As a result, the hydrogen produced is clean and emits no emissions, which makes it a great possibility for driving cars and other devices that need clean energy. The fact that green hydrogen is made from renewable energy sources and does not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions is one of its main advantages. Green hydrogen also holds the potential to lessen our dependency on fossil fuels and offer a more sustainable energy source going forward.
However, for this to materialize, green hydrogen must reach cost equality with grey hydrogen. At present, grey hydrogen currently costs between INR 150 and INR 230 per kilogram of hydrogen. This is due to the price of grey hydrogen is based on natural gas, which has unsteady prices. Furthermore, our strong financial model estimates that the cost of green hydrogen is between INR 270 and 380 per kilogram of hydrogen.
- Potential of Hydrogen
In the world, hydrogen appears to have boundless energy and potential. A revolutionary energy revolution is being eased by the strength or power of hydrogen. By realizing the promise of hydrogen, we may steer a world where renewable energy takes the lead and usher in an era of boundless energy possibilities and a more promising future.
- Indian Aspects of Hydrogen
India now uses a lot of hydrogen, primarily as an industrial feedstock in the creation of ammonia-based fertilizers. India produces much of its hydrogen by reforming methane, which emits a large amount of carbon dioxide. Carbon capture and storage technology can capture these pollutants, but it is still in its infancy in India. Electrolysis is an alternate method of production in which electricity is used to divide water into its constituent parts. At the Nangal Facility in 1962, India boasted one of the world's first large-scale alkaline electrolyze facilities, producing hydrogen from electricity. Although a lot of research is being done on hydrogen production by electrolysis, photolysis, and biogenesis, these low-carbon technologies have not yet been widely implemented. This is partly because producing hydrogen from low-carbon sources now comes at a higher cost than producing hydrogen derived from fossil fuels or other fossil fuel equivalents. But it is workable that in the future, these prices may equalize and that, in helpful locations, green hydrogen will outperform grey hydrogen. In India, where natural gas supplies are few and expensive, and renewable electricity rates are already among the lowest globally, this is made more possible.
- Indian Trends of Hydrogen
Hydrogen technology research and development is crucial to achieving the goal of a carbon-free economy by making it both commercially and technically workable. When it comes to fossil fuels and battery-powered technology, hydrogen has a competitive advantage. The National Green Hydrogen Mission, for example, encourages innovation to improve the systems and procedure's efficacy, safety, and dependability as well as to raise the viability and feasibility of green hydrogen generation, storage, transportation, and consumption. Research and development efforts are being made to increase the electrolysis process's efficiency and decrease energy loss in converting electricity to hydrogen, to make it economically practical in the next years.
- Hydrogen Growth Opportunities in India
The interest in hydrogen manufacturing has increased. The National Green Hydrogen Mission was started by the Indian government in Budget 2022, with a RS 20,000 billion allocation. The aim is to produce five million metric tons of hydrogen gas by 2030. Businesses have been investing to set up plants, develop modern technologies, and launch test programs. According to the case of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) lawsuit. After conducting an in-depth study on green hydrogen, the PSU (public sector initiative) recently said that it will set up two production units in Tamil Nadu and Kerala as a trial project. India views it as the fuel of the future in this way. In addition to having a functioning hydrogen dispensing station in Faridabad, Haryana, which resembles a gas pump, IOC's research and development center has bought 15 fuel cell electric buses from Tata Motors for experimental projects. Fuel cell electric cars (FCEVs) employ a fuel cell driven by hydrogen instead of standard electric vehicles (EVs), which use electricity from a battery. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, is being given priority in India as a possible means of decarbonizing industries that are difficult to abolish, such as refineries, iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, and heavy-duty trucking. The past two years have seen a rise in the number of businesses announcing pilot programs, like IOCs, to show how green gas could revolutionize industry.
- Future of Hydrogen in India
After China and the United States, India is currently the world's third-largest producer and user of hydrogen. By 2040, the demand for hydrogen in India is predicted to rise dramatically (by two to four times). However, considering the significant increase in energy demands, hydrogen would still account for less than 7% of India's total primary energy consumption by 2040. Since transporting hydrogen is expensive, supply must be close to demand centers, therefore hydrogen hubs and valleys must be set up.
- Application of Hydrogen
1. Refining Industry: Hydrocracking is one of the main uses of hydrogen in the refining process. Heavy crude oil is broken down into lighter hydrocarbons using hydrogen under high pressure and temperature in this process. Heavy crude oils and residues are examples of low-value feedstocks that hydrocracking is particularly good at turning into high-value products. Refiners can minimize production costs, use less energy, and produce more high-value products when they use hydrogen in the hydrocracking process.
2. Pharmaceutical Industry: Hydrogen is used by the pharmaceutical sector to produce vitamins and other medical supplies. Massive amounts of hydrogen are used to catalytically combine oxygen and hydrogen, then remove the resultant water, to purify gases (like argon) that have traces of oxygen in them.
3. Food and Beverages Industry: Hydrogen is added to organic compounds (hydrocarbons) to start a chemical reaction known as hydrogenation. In the food business, for instance, it is extensively used when H2 molecules are added to unsaturated vegetable oils and fats.
4. Glass Manufacturing: Hydrogen can be used in the glass manufacturing industry as a fuel in melting furnaces, which are used to melt raw materials such as sand, soda ash, and limestone-produced glass. By using hydrogen as a fuel, the melting process can be made more energy efficient, reduce carbon emissions, and improve product quality. The key applications of hydrogen in the glass manufacturing industry are melting furnaces, batch preheating, glass forming, and annealing.
5. Semiconductors Industry: The semiconductor industry is a critical sector in the global economy, with a wide range of applications across various industries. Hydrogen is used in the semiconductor industry for multiple reasons, such as cleaning, annealing, etching, and doping. The combination of renewable energy and efficient power semiconductors from Infineon is a key lever in the large-scale production of green hydrogen.
- Hydrogen Companies in the Market
- Reliance Industries.
- GAIL (India)
- National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC)
- Indian Oil Corporation.
- Larsen & Toubro.
- Adani Green Energy.
- JSW Energy.
- Jindal Stainless.
- JSW Energy Ltd
- NTPC Ltd
- Adani Green Energy Ltd
- GAIL (India) Ltd
- Larsen & Toubro Ltd
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