Stating that Reliance Industries (RIL) “will aggressively pursue” the target of bringing down the cost of green hydrogen to under $2 per kg “well before the turn of this decade”, chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Friday “India can set an even more aggressive target of achieving under $1 per kg within a decade”.
Currently, the production cost of green hydrogen is around $3.6-5.8/kg, according to a report by Council on Energy, Environment and Water. The planned reduction in production cost of the benign source of energy could help the country cut its burdensome oil import bill and have a salutary effect on the current account.
“The rapid fall in the cost of production has made solar energy highly competitive, attracting large-scale investments,” Ambani said, addressing the International Climate Summit organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “This shall play a key role in ensuring similar growth trends in green hydrogen – the future replacement of fossil fuels,” he added.
RIL — which plans to become ‘net carbon-zero’ by 2035 — had unveiled a mega plan for green and clean energy business in June, saying it would make initial investments of Rs 75,000 crore out of its internal resources in the burgeoning area over the next three years.
On 15 August this year, the Prime Minister had announced the National Hydrogen Mission as the government explores ways to reduce dependence on imported products such as crude oil and natural gas.
RIL has already begun work on developing the Rs 60,000-crore Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex on 5,000 acres in Jamnagar, which will include manufacturing units for solar cells and modules, a battery unit for energy storage, a fuel cell-making factory and an electrolyser plant to produce green hydrogen.
Hydrogen produced with the help of electrolysers through electricity generated from renewable sources such as solar and wind plants is called green hydrogen. The country currently consumes about around 6 million tonnes of hydrogen annually and the government is looking for ways to increase the penetration of domestic green hydrogen in industries which otherwise import natural gas and ammonia to produce hydrogen.