Centre seeks proposals to develop green hydrogen innovation hubs

The focus on green hydrogen gains importance in the backdrop of India’s target to install 500GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and achieve net zero carbon emission by 2070

Rituraj Baruah
Updated19 Apr 2023, 05:31 PM IST
Under the Green Hydrogen Mission, the government plans to run pilot projects to replace fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based feedstocks with green hydrogen in sectors like steel, long-range heavy-duty mobility, energy storage and shipping. (File Photo: Bloomberg)
Under the Green Hydrogen Mission, the government plans to run pilot projects to replace fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based feedstocks with green hydrogen in sectors like steel, long-range heavy-duty mobility, energy storage and shipping. (File Photo: Bloomberg)

New Delhi: The Centre has invited expressions of interest (EoI) for developing hydrogen valley innovation clusters (HVIC) in the country. The Department of Science and Technology’s guidelines define a hydrogen valley as a specific geographic region where hydrogen serves more than one end sector or application in mobility, industry, and energy. This includes all steps in the hydrogen value chain, from production, storage, and transport to distribution to various off-takers, as well as renewable electricity production from hydrogen.

The government will provide up to 25 lakh in assistance for the preparation of detailed project reports (DPR) which must be completed within 45 days of the project’s allocation.

EoIs will be evaluated in May, and funding for the recommended EoIs for DPR preparation will also occur in that month. The DPRs will be evaluated and shortlisted in July, with the project expected to start in October 2023 and finish by 2028.

The main goal of the HVIC is to enhance the readiness of green hydrogen value chain technologies for manufacturing and deployment as small-scale demonstrations. To achieve this goal, the innovation cluster will provide funding for research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities essential for small-scale demonstrations of these technologies, with initial support from the Department of Science and Technology and other funding partners, as per document seeking EoIs.

Each HVIC must identify and validate technologies for demonstrating hydrogen at an industrial scale and define year-wise production targets based on regional strengths, preparedness, and utilization capabilities to minimize storage and transportation requirements. The EoI document said that each hydrogen valley will have a consortium that includes at least one commercial enterprise as a member. The industry will be the ultimate off-taker of the technologies successfully demonstrated in the valley and will later invest in large-scale manufacturing and deployment of these technologies.

Eligible Indian entities with hydrogen sector expertise that can participate in the clusters include knowledge clusters already engaged in stakeholder consultation in the green hydrogen ecosystem, industries working on the hydrogen value supply chain, government-backed academia, government-funded R&D laboratories, incubators, and startups in the concerned area. The industry partner in the consortium must be an Indian company or a startup registered by an Indian resident in India.

If interested parties require assistance or expertise from international experts, they must indicate this in the EoI. Germany-based Fraunhofer, an application-oriented research organization, will serve as the technology partner to the Department of Science and Technology for the Hydrogen Valley Innovation Cluster. It will provide information and access to technologies, scientific and technical experts, and collaborate in preparing technology roadmaps and guidelines for the innovation cluster.

Each HVIC will target annual green hydrogen production of up to 500 tonne through various proven technology routes, which will be considered small-scale production. After the initial five-year phase and successful demonstration, each HVIC will plan to scale up to a commercial level.

The EoI proposal follows the government’s rollout of a concept paper for capital support to initiate green hydrogen and electrolyzer production in the country through the National Green Hydrogen Mission. The Indian government plans to provide incentives totalling 17,490 crore to produce green hydrogen and electrolyzers in the country, with 13,050 crore allocated for green hydrogen and 4,440 crore for electrolyzers.

The Union cabinet approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission in January with an initial outlay of 19,744 crore. The government aims to make India a global hub for the production, use, and export of green hydrogen and its derivatives, expecting to enable the production of 5 million tonne of green hydrogen per annum by 2030, with the potential to reach 10 million tonne per annum with the growth of export markets.

Green hydrogen is likely to replace hydrogen produced from fossil fuel sources in ammonia production and petroleum refining. It would also be used in city gas distribution systems, the production of steel and the use of green hydrogen-derived synthetic fuels, including green ammonia and green methanol, among others.

The focus on green hydrogen also gains emphasis in the backdrop of India’s target to install 500GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and achieve net zero carbon emission by 2070. Under the Green Hydrogen Mission, the government plans to run pilot projects to replace fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based feedstocks with green hydrogen in sectors like steel, long-range heavy-duty mobility, energy storage and shipping.

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First Published:19 Apr 2023, 05:31 PM IST
HomeIndustryEnergyCentre seeks proposals to develop green hydrogen innovation hubs

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