The renewable energy sector is hoping that measures would be made in the future National Hydrogen Policy, as there are no government subsidies in the Union Budget 2022-23 to encourage the development of green hydrogen in the country.

As per Manoj Gupta, vice-president of Fortum India’s solar and waste-to-energy division, the sector is hoping that the government will offer monetary incentives in the Budget to encourage the expansion of green hydrogen and make India a worldwide manufacturing center for electrolyzers. “Even though there was no mention of hydrogen in the Budget, we are hopeful that the government will include provisions in the future National Hydrogen Policy, which is expected to be announced in the coming days… With the new policies and support in place, we are confident that green hydrogen generation will take the lead in India in the next 5-7 years,” Gupta added.

As per Srivatsan Iyer, Global CEO of Hero Future Energies, the government’s dedication to a low-carbon growth strategy was reiterated in the 2018 Union Budget, which included several benefits for the renewable energy industry.

“The increased allocation under the PLI plan would encourage domestic solar module manufacture, whereas sovereign green bonds could perhaps open up new climate finance avenues.  I also applaud initiatives like the proposed battery swapping legislation and the establishment of no-fossil-fuel zones in metropolitan areas, both of which are expected to enhance the electric vehicle market,” he added.

While no particular declaration on green hydrogen was made, he emphasized that they expect the National Hydrogen Policy to provide much more clarity on the matter. “The government has declared its decarbonization ambitions abundantly apparent, and green hydrogen is unquestionably a vital facilitator in meeting these goals, particularly in difficult-to-abate industries,” Iyer added.

Several top-tier refineries, both public and commercial, have already issued Expressions of Interest (EOI) or tenders, and many power generators have placed orders for the green hydrogen fuel cells. These advances, he claims, imply that green hydrogen is a key component of the government’s goals. “We expect the next Policy to detail concrete measures, such as providing Viability Gap Financing for previous projects and mandating the use of green hydrogen in specific industries, to give this developing technology even more impetus,” he added.

HFE had recently partnered with Ohmium International, a maker of electrolyzers situated in the United States. “With pilot projects expected to begin soon,” Iyer noted, “this alliance should enable us to explore and build Green Hydrogen manufacturing facilities in India, the United Kingdom, and the rest of the EU.” The Union Budget, according to Rajat Seksaria, CEO of ACME Group, “maintains consistency with the government’s declared support and plan on energy transition and climate action.”

According to him, the government’s focus on green hydrogen has been extremely obvious. “We’ve heard that the finalized policy will be revealed in the coming weeks. Simultaneously, major capital investments in green hydrogen, when required, may be made in the near future,” he stated.

According to his meetings with various agencies, the government is very eager to move forward with the Green Hydrogen Mission in a very well-calibrated manner, maintaining the Atmanirbhar Bharat as well as energy security aims in mind.

“We want to be a key player in the sector,” Seksaria said, adding that “additional investment plans will be prepared as and when we finalize the projects.” The focus on capital investment to propel the economy on a faster growth path owing to its multiplier effect, he said, was the Budget’s highlight.

“We believe that investing in productive industries is critical to unlocking the Indian economy’s actual potential, and the Budget measures are consistent with that approach.” However, we hope that we do not revert to a higher interest rate regime, which would stymie capital investment.

In Bikaner, Rajasthan, the ACME Group has built the globe’s first integrated commercial-scale pilot plant for green ammonia and green hydrogen generation, as well as world-scale green hydrogen plus green ammonia project at the Duqm Special Economic Zone. The government, on the other hand, has pledged to use clean energy to combat climate change.

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