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India's Hydrogen Potential: A Path to Exporting Green Hydrogen for Decarbonization

12 Sept 2023

In alignment with its ambitious renewable energy targets, India is poised to emerge as a surplus green hydrogen producer, offering a vital contribution to countries committed to decarbonization. Dr. Christopher Hebling of Germany’s Fraunhofer Society emphasized this potential during a discussion on India's journey towards developing a hydrogen economy, including its collaboration with the Fraunhofer Society on the Hydrogen Valley project.

Leveraging Renewable Energy Potential

Dr. Hebling underscored India's capacity to harness its extensive renewable energy resources, particularly biomass, solar, and wind, to generate green hydrogen through electrolysis. This green hydrogen production can pave the way for a robust ecosystem supporting hydrogen-powered transportation, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) and hydrogen refueling stations. Beyond the environmental benefits, such initiatives can significantly improve air quality in densely populated urban areas and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Transportation Revolution with FCVs

Highlighting the transformative potential of FCVs, Dr. Hebling emphasized their long-range capabilities and rapid refueling, making them ideal for heavy-duty applications such as trucks and buses that require extended mileage beyond current battery technology capabilities. As hydrogen technology matures and infrastructure expands, FCVs are poised to become pivotal players in the transportation sector.

Infrastructure Development is Key

While India's renewable energy targets align well with green hydrogen production, Dr. Hebling stressed the importance of robust infrastructure for both domestic consumption and potential export markets. To fully harness India's green hydrogen potential, building the necessary infrastructure for hydrogen production and export is essential.

Export Markets and Cost Challenges

Dr. Hebling identified Europe, Korea, and Japan as potential key markets for India's green hydrogen exports, primarily due to their limited access to renewable resources. However, he acknowledged that cost remains a significant hurdle. Currently, green hydrogen production through electrolysis is more expensive than fossil fuels, posing a challenge that requires innovation and cost-reduction efforts.

Fraunhofer's Role in the Hydrogen Valley Project

Fraunhofer, with its extensive capabilities in hydrogen technologies spanning over 36 institutes, is a key player in India's Hydrogen Valley project. This collaborative endeavor aims to establish geographical areas where hydrogen serves multiple sectors, including mobility, industry, and energy. Fraunhofer's international partnership in this project is crucial to bridge technology gaps and foster global cooperation in advancing hydrogen initiatives.

A Global Effort

Dr. Hebling emphasized that the transition to green hydrogen and the development of a thriving hydrogen economy require a global partnership. It is a collective effort that transcends national boundaries, and India, with its renewable energy potential, is well-positioned to play a pivotal role in this transformative journey.

In summary, India's green hydrogen potential presents a promising path toward export-driven decarbonization. While challenges such as cost persist, the nation's commitment to renewable energy and collaborations with international partners like Fraunhofer Society hold the key to a greener, more sustainable future.

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