India ready to step in and save Europe from energy crisis with £82bn hydrogen boost

Bill Gates details importance of using hydrogen

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Over the past month, Europe’s energy crisis has gone from bad to downright catastrophic as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to strangle gas supplies to the bloc. Fearing a complete cut-off in the not too distant future, EU leaders have drawn up plans to ration their energy supplies this winter by around 15 percent. 

In light of these fears, a major think tank has argued that the fuel-starved bloc should turn towards India, which has recently announced major investments in green hydrogen, tipped to be a natural gas replacement.

Hydrogen generated from zero-carbon sources has a number of applications, from industrial use, long-range vehicular fuel and even as a means to store energy.

Dr Arunabha Ghosh, the CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), and a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities praised India’s strong bet on green hydrogen.

Last August, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ambitious plan to produce five million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of green hydrogen by 2030, an investment which Dr Ghosh believes to be worth at least USD 100 billion.

Producing that much green hydrogen would “generate demand for about 100 GW of renewable power and 40 GW of electrolyser capacity.”

Research by the CEEW found that additional demand of 3.45 MTPA of green hydrogen could come from emerging sectors like steel, mobility, and hydrogen blending in natural gas pipelines, which would require another 70 GW of renewable electricity.

In a column for Euractiv, Dr Ghosh wrote: “India’s mission boldly converges a massive rollout of renewables (in line with the target of 500 GW of non-fossil electricity capacity by 2030) with tapping new avenues for industrial decarbonisation, along with a huge investment opportunity.

“These developments in India strongly complement efforts within the EU.

“Although 38 countries plus the EU have announced or are developing national policies/strategies for hydrogen, only India’s ambition comes close to the EU target of producing 10 MTPA of green hydrogen by 2030 and importing an additional 10 MTPA.

“At a time when energy security, climate action, geopolitics, and international cooperation have all converged, India’s big push for green hydrogen deserves a European pull to deliver more climate action.”

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Dr Ghosh noted that in order for Europe and India to deliver their hydrogen promises, both parties must work together on research and development of green hydrogen, and work together to help reduce the costs of electrolysers

Aside from helping Europe overcome any fears of an energy crisis, such a partnership would also be a major blow to Russia, which has been a close ally fo New Delhi since the cold war.

Most recently, Russia has been selling off its crude oil to Indian refiners at massive discounts.

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