Govt is looking to give a mandate to industries such as fertilizer, steel, petrochem, others for green hydrogen usage
Acme Solar Holdings Ltd, India’s largest pure-play solar platform plans to jointly produce green hydrogen in India and Europe with Lhyfe Labs SAS of France.
Green or clean hydrogen gas is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyzer that may be fed by wind power, solar power, or hydro power. Hydrogen is also produced by electrolysis using fossil fuels, a practice that is being increasingly shunned because of climate change concerns.
Acme’s green hydrogen foray also comes against the backdrop of India looking to give a mandate to industries such as fertilizer, steel, and petrochemicals for green hydrogen use as part of the proposed National Hydrogen Energy Mission, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November.
The two firms “have signed Memorandum of Understanding to research, create, and collaborate for production of green hydrogen in target countries in Europe and India”, Acme Solar said.
The group, founded in 2003 by Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, has been looking at new businesses such as energy storage, green hydrogen, and ammonia. India has been rapidly expanding clean energy capacity at low tariffs and has a target of achieving a 450 GW renewable energy capacity by 2030.
Queries emailed to Nantes-headquartered Lhyfe Labs late on Tuesday night remained unanswered.
The collaboration comes against the backdrop of the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasting that India’s energy demand would grow at the fastest pace globally over the next two decades.
“India has the potential to close the cost gap between hydrogen from electrolysis and natural gas more quickly than many other countries because of its relatively high gas prices and low-cost solar PV potential, but flexible electrolysis and cost-effective hydrogen storage will be essential to integrate hydrogen with variable renewables,” IEA said in a report titled The India Energy Outlook 2021, released on Tuesday.
Hydrogen, seen as a next-generation fuel, is emission-free and has three times higher energy content per unit mass than petrol. It is increasingly being viewed as a preferred fuel source for transportation and storage.
“The draft mission document has already gone through the consultation process and is expected to be finalized in February 2021. Thereafter, it will go through inter-ministerial consultation and cabinet approval process,” the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) said on Tuesday.
India plans to build green hydrogen plants that will run on electricity produced by green energy sources and help reduce dependence on fossil fuels for mobility.
They will provide grid-scale storage solutions and provide feedstock for ammonia production. The plan assumes significance against the backdrop of India running the largest renewable energy programme, with solar power tariffs already hitting a record low of ₹1.99 per unit. The rates are expected to decline further.
“Both the companies will work together on business opportunities to achieve lowest cost of energy by collaborating competencies and technical know-how of design, produce, engineer, construct, commission and invest in green hydrogen production facility through renewable energy,” Acme Solar said.