Experts from academia and industry deliberated about the current status of hydrogen as a source of energy and the role it can play in making India carbon neutral at the International Platform on Hydrogen Economy – An Industry-Academia Conclave on September 30, 2022.
While inaugurating the Conclave, Dr. V K Saraswat, Member Science, NITI Aayog, said that with hydrogen demand increasing, companies are taking steps to increase hydrogen production as well as invest in technologies for it. As a result cost of hydrogen production is likely to come down in the future.
“Journey towards green hydrogen is through blue hydrogen accompanied with carbon capture & utilisation,” he pointed out.
Dr. Saraswat highlighted that we need to reduce the production cost of hydrogen and upscale production of electrolytes required for it, which are largely imported today. “Along with this, we need to clean up the grid, increase use of nuclear energy and produce cleaner fossil fuels for becoming carbon neutral,” he added.
Dr. S Chandrasekhar, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), urged the experts at the conference to work on a white paper to make hydrogen a real perfect future fuel. “India has planned to become carbon neutral by 2070. We need practical solutions to make this achievable and invest resources in the right direction to make that happen,” Dr. Chandrasekhar said.
The conclave was organised by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to support academia-industry interaction in order to address the industry-informed challenges. It provided the member countries and coalition partners opportunities to show their leadership in significant demonstrations of future uses for hydrogen, which are very likely to be at the forefront of building future global hydrogen economies.
Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Senior Adviser, DST, emphasised on an overall strategy to work on Hydrogen and on international collaborations to reach the target of carbon neutrality by 2070.
Dr. Ashish Lele, Director, CSIR-NCL, elaborated on the current status of hydrogen technologies in the country, while Mr. Noe Van Hulst, Special Advisor Hydrogen, IEA & Chair, IPHE, said that India has become an important player in the global enthusiasm on hydrogen and should look at potential collaborations with countries with hydrogen requirements in the future.
Hydrogen Valley Platform and DST- India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) Industry Research & Development Fellowship Programme (IRDFP) 2022 were also launched during the conclave.
Dr. Anita Gupta, Head Technology Missions Division (Energy, Water & all Other) DST, and Dr. Ranjith Krisna Pai, Scientist, DST, also participated in the programme, which was attended by several academic and industry experts from the energy sector from India and abroad.
Hydrogen Valley Platform is a global initiative to optimize the hydrogen demand and supply by onsite generation and utilisation, to utilise the renewable resources effectively in water excess areas with geographical identity. The H2 Valley’s objectives will be achieved through cohorts of clean hydrogen valleys to combine complete hydrogen value chain (production, storage, and transportation) with the aim of reaching critical scale and unlocking learning curve effects. India has committed to facilitate the delivery of three clean hydrogen valleys in India by 2030.
Industry Research & Development Fellowship Programme (IRDFP) is jointly initiated by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA). This fellowship programme will enhance the skills of the Fellows and will be of mutual benefit to both the industry and academic partners. Researchers placed into industry will have the opportunity to gain a working knowledge of relevant business drivers and will gain from industry’s established contacts. The up-skilling and industry exposure provided to academic researchers will prepare them for a career in industry and maximise the impact of the training received by these researchers so far. For faculty researchers, it is expected that their Fellowship will help seed subsequent industry collaborations and shape the direction of their research going forward.