Purchase of green hydrogen will be made mandatory for certain sectors on the pattern of renewable purchase obligation, New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh said on Tuesday.
Hydrogen purchase obligations would be in place for fertilizers/ refineries involving private sector. Under Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO), bulk purchasers like discoms, open access consumers and captive users are required to buy a certain proportion of renewable energy out of their total consumption of electricity. They can also buy RE certificates from renewable energy producers to meet the RPO norms.
Interacting with the media in a virtual curtain raiser press conference on 'India's role as a Global Champion for the Energy Transition theme at the UN High Level Dialogue on Energy 2021', Singh said just like RPO, hydrogen purchase obligation would ensure that product sells. "We are going to include green hydrogen obligation on the lines of RPO," the minister said.
Later in the day, Union Power Secretary Alok Kumar said in a tweet ,"India has launched an ambitious National Hydrogen Mission to introduce hydrogen purchase obligations for fertilizers/ refineries involving private sector in transparent & competitive manner to produce green hydrogen." Green hydrogen is produced using RE and electrolysis to split water and is distinct from grey hydrogen, which is produced from methane and releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and blue hydrogen, which captures those emissions and stores them underground to prevent them causing climate change.
The minister also expressed dismay over under-achievement of RPO targets by states. "Most states have not achieved their RPO(targets). In 2030, total installed power generation capacity of the country would be 821 GW including 450 GW of renewables. (So RPO is required to be met by states)," the minister said.
He noted that there would be a penalty for states for not meeting the RPO targets. Explaining about the high or unviable price of green hydrogen, he said the price will come down with an increase in volumes (sales and production) as was seen in the case of solar and wind energy.
In case of solar, the tariff had dipped to less than Rs 2 per unit in auctions for projects last year in December. On concerns regarding dumping of cheap solar equipment in the country he said the domestic manufacturing capacity would be scaled up to 70 GW by December 2022.
On meeting the ambitious target of 175 GW of renewables by 2022, he admitted that the lockdown and other such restriction induced by COVID-19 have affected renewable projects in the country. "We have to give (deadline) extension to RE projects. We had to extend the bids (for RE projects). This has caused disruption because lockdown was imposed." According to a presentation in the press conference, India has already achieved 141 GW of RE (including large hydro projects) while 80 GW is under various stages of implementation and tendering.
Later in a statement issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Singh said India's energy access and energy transition stories have multiple lessons and learnings, which can benefit other countries in advancing their energy goals and undertaking effective climate action. The UN High level Dialogue on Energy 2021 presents India with an opportunity to share these experiences with the entire world.
Singh said with just about ten years left for achieving the global target for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-7), there is a need for strong political commitments, and innovative ways of expanding energy access and promoting RE. The minister called on all other countries, especially those in positions of privilege, to work ambitiously to support a global energy transition that is just, inclusive, and equitable.
Singh informed that India will finalize its 'Energy Compacts' going forward based on its target of 450 GW renewable energy capacity by 2030, focusing on solar, wind and bio-energy; storage systems, green hydrogen and international cooperation through the International Solar Alliance. He gave an overview of the nature of the Energy Compacts being prepared by India. One of the key outcomes of the High Level Dialogue on Energy 2021 will be Energy Compacts. Energy Compacts are voluntary commitments from Member States and non-state actors like companies, regional/local governments, Non-Governmental Organizations and others. These stakeholders commit to an Energy Compact that includes the specific actions they commit to take to support progress on SDG-7.
Welcoming the convening of the dialogue by the UN Secretary General in September 2021 in New York , the minister gave an overview of the activities already undertaken by India in its role of a global champion and the activities planned for the future, as part of its global advocacy efforts to promote the Energy Transition theme for the Dialogue. As part of the preparatory process for the Dialogue in September, India is part of some key events.India will co-host the Ministerial Thematic Forum for Energy Transition on June 23, 2021 along with other global champions for the theme, among other events. Transition on June 23, 2021 along with other global champions for the theme, among other events.