Game of giants. For these companies, the wait for green hydrogen is over

Over the last couple of years, India saw a plethora of announcements for green hydrogen. Companies announced their plans forming partnerships to get into electrolysers manufacturing for green hydrogen or for the production of green hydrogen.

For biggies like Reliance and Adani, green hydrogen represents a new and presumably growing business opportunity. The two conglomerates have announced $75 billion and $50 billion investments respectively in the entire gamut of green hydrogen chain. Even if these investments are to be made over the next ten years, the annual outlays are huge.

For oil refiners, like IOC and BPCL, green hydrogen is a must, its use by them is going to be mandated by law. For energy companies like NTPC too, such a mandate may not be too far. For renewable energy companies like ReNew Power and Greenko green hydrogen is a new market for their electricity, where they would probably get a higher margin. Engineering companies like L&T look at this sector as yet another opportunity where they can make and sell electrolysers.

All these companies havebeen waiting for some policy clarity. Would the government give any financial support and if yes, how much? This was answered unambiguously by the government’s ‘new year gift’ of ₹19,744 crore allocation for supporting this sector.

The idea is to create enough capacity in the country for an annual production of 5 million tons of green hydrogen, which (according to the National Chemical Laboratory, a public funded research institution working on green hydrogen) would entail 32 GW of electrolyser capacity and consume 115 mld (millions of liter per day) of water. This needs an investment of $86 billion, requires 130 GW of renewable energy and take up 3,40,000 hectares of land. Also, a 5 mtpa of green hydrogen would help avoid fossil fuel imports amounting to ₹one lakh crore and reduce 50 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

For all the companies that made big-splash announcements in the last couple of years, the wait is over. Now is the time for them to lick their paws and get into action. Against this backdrop, here is a look at who has said what and where they stand today.

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