A one-day conference on "Green Hydrogen Pilots in India" was organized in New Delhi on September 5, 2023, in preparation for the 18th G20 Summit. The conference included a number of Green Hydrogen Pilots being carried out by Indian businesses in the public and commercial sectors. Ahead-of-the-curve innovative pilots and advancements in green hydrogen technology were also highlighted during the conference, which was hosted by NTPC Ltd.
During the event, Gurdeep Singh, Chairman & Managing Director of NTPC Limited, shared his views on how hydrogen will be the fuel for the future and that green hydrogen in particular will play the lead role in the energy transition. Following are the excerpts from his address.
There is no doubt that green hydrogen will be the fuel of the future and the real option. Green hydrogen will be similar to how solar power became the fastest-developing industry in the country. In 2008-2009 we were in Gujarat, discussing solar plants and it came into existence when the first one-megawatt plant was inaugurated in 2009-2010, since then The growth of the solar industry has been phenomenal.
The green hydrogen project will also make a similar kind of impact and the seminars that we conduct will help in discussing the fruitful outcome, the way we design our policies, and how we can have more investment into the technology, the manufacturing, and the supply chain as well. In the next decade, hydrogen will become mainstream renewable energy.
Solar to Hydrogen
We at NTPC, realized three years ago that hydrogen was going to be important for the energy transition and a business opportunity for NTPC. We have been looking at some of the pilot projects and the first pilot project that we have been commissioned. Although it was a very small step I think it was quite an important one.
NTPC's trial run of hydrogen bus
The other project that we are carrying out is in Leh. The hydrogen bus, designed by Honorable Minister two years ago will be running on hydrogen fuel, which is FCEV based and hydrogen will be produced from the solar power in Leh and hence, we will be able to elude imports such as fossil fuel.
This pilot project will prove to be very useful in a month's time we should be in a position to make this pilot project functional. Unfortunately, we lost time due to the recent heavy rains, and some of the roads got damaged as well if not we would have commissioned this project by now.
Green Methanol production in Vindhyachal
Another ambitious pilot project that we are taking up is in the Vindhyachal, where 10 tonnes of green methanol would be produced every day and the advanced stage of commissioning has already begun. We have also commissioned the carbon capture project and the hydrogen plant is also under construction. The methanol plant after hydrogen and CO2 is now under construction. Once that is coming, we will try our best to see if we can do it by the 31st of December.
It is quite heartening that it is not only the public sector that has started taking the pilot projects but also the private sector in addition to the PSUs are taking up the pilot projects. These pilot projects will also be helpful in understanding the standards and standardizing the products, what kind of input materials will be required, skill sets will be required. These pilot projects will be the basis for the development of the complete ecosystem in the long run. Hence, pilot projects are going to be really important going forward. In addition to these, we are also discussing with the shipping initiatives if methanol can be utilized by them. I think green methanol is another product that can be easily transported.
Another forward-looking project that we are working on is with the Indian Army, where we will be having our solar plant and the hydrogen and then again converting hydrogen through electrolysis to power so that it will help us in eliminating kerosene and the other fossil fuels as well. Therefore, these pilot projects will go a long way.