Under the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT), two distinct financial incentive mechanisms – targeting domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and production of green hydrogen – will be introduced in a bid to cut carbon emissions and drive exports.

India had previously announced it aims to produce 5m tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030, but under the new incentives, the government aims to bring down green hydrogen’s production cost, currently at 300 rupees to 400 rupees per kg, further to accelerate its development, and save 50m MT of CO2 emissions a year.

India plans to build electrolyser capacity of 60-100GW to help produce green hydrogen, according to Minister Anurag Thakur.

The Mission will seem to create export opportunities for green hydrogen and its derivatives; focus on the decarbonisation of industrial, mobility and energy sectors; reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock; develop indigenous manufacturing capabilities; and create employment opportunities and technologies.

A ‘robust’ Standards and Regulations framework will be developed along with a public-private partnership framework for R&D (Strategic Hydrogen Innovation Partnership – SHIP) under the Mission; R&D projects will receive deadlines and be scaled up to develop globally competitive technologies, combined with a coordinated skill development programme.

Mandatory targets for green hydrogen consumption would be required of fertiliser units, petroleum refineries and city gas distribution networks.

India is well placed to pioneer a new model for low-carbon, inclusive growth, according to the IEA. It is already a global leader in solar power and solar combined with batteries will play a massive part in India’s energy future.

But the IEA cautions that it will need a whole host of technologies and policies to chart this new path. “As new industrial sectors emerge and clean energy jobs grow, India will also need to ensure that no one is left behind, including in those regions that are heavily dependent on coal today,” it explains.

Consequently green hydrogen is at the forefront of India’s low or zero-carbon energy vision. 

The Indian hydrogen mission is envisioned in three phases: (1) 2022-2024 – focused on developing policies, guidelines and undertaking pilot projects; (2) 2025-2026 – focused on early scale up of hydrogen production in the country, bringing costs down and facilitating policy-based incentives for large-scale production; and (3) 2020-2030 – a period focused on diversification of applications beyond the earlier adopter focused areas.

The Indian Hydrogen Alliance (IH2A) was formed in April 2021, dedicated to the creation of a hydrogen value-chain and economy as the country strives to achieve a target of Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2070, a goal which was laid out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COP26 climate summit.

India’s commitment is another major boost for hydrogen’s global development, and follows the US Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), signed into law on August 16 last year, which directs $400bn of federal spending towards reducing carbon emissions. Funds will be delivered through a mix of tax incentives, grants, and loan guarantees.

In Europe, REPowerEU has doubled the 2030 target to produce 10m tonnes of renewable hydrogen in the EU each year. European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen announced the launch of a new EU Hydrogen Bank, which will be among the key initiatives this year.