Green Hydrogen Stakeholder Consultations Meet: Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH) Helps Drive Telangana Toward a Green Hydrogen Economy

RICH and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India (DST) organised a Green Hydrogen Stakeholder Consultations meeting in Hyderabad, with the intent to conceptualise a green hydrogen valley in the state of Telangana
Hyderabad, 31st January 2023: At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) held in 2021, India announced its Net Zero ambition for 2070. Recognising that green hydrogen is critical to realise this ambition, the Indian government then approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission and announced an initial outlay of ₹19,744 Cr towards developing a robust green hydrogen ecosystem.

Speaking about India’s vision, MNRE spokesperson Dr. Arun Tripathi mentioned “As a nation, if we are going to play a major role, we will have to do so by engaging with key players from the industry, government and stakeholders from the Green Hydrogen players. This transition cannot be done alone”.

Recently, the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, also called for innovative proposals for setting up hydrogen valleys across the country. A hydrogen valley is a geographical area wherein several industrial and research initiatives are clustered with the aim to set up a hydrogen ecosystem. This involves large-scale integrated clean hydrogen production, transportation, storage, and end-use.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Jayesh Ranjan (IAS), Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) Departments of the Telangana government mentioned, “The focus is on supporting emerging tech areas. Telangana is open to collaborating with stakeholders in the Green Hydrogen ecosystem, and taking advantage of the market opportunities available in the state due to the large number of industries present, across multiple sectors.“

In the following session Shri Sunil Sharma (IAS), Special Chief Secretary, Energy and Infrastructure & Investment of the Telangana government mentioned that “Renewables have transformed the energy sector, but the problem with renewables is that they cannot be stored. Renewable energy combined with Hydrogen is the need of the hour. We need to identify good projects and realize them in mission mode for tangible outcomes. So focus on identifying good use cases for Green Hydrogen where things are feasible with little support from the government, and then we can take projects in mission mode so as to benefit the common man”

As a state enabler, the Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH)—an initiative of the Government of Telangana, and the Hyderabad Science and Technology Cluster under the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India—has organised a multi-stakeholder discussion on 31st January 2023 to advance the conversation around setting up a hydrogen valley in Telangana. The primary objective of this event was to conceptualise this valley in accordance with the needs of various end-user stakeholder groups. DST spokesperson Dr. Ranjith Krishna Pai explains, “DST is focused on promoting the hydrogen valley clusters in the country, including covering hydrogen production, countrywide storage and distribution models, supporting innovative transportation models for hydrogen, and finally its application. We want to demonstrate the possibility of a large-scale integrated value chain, and promote the future upscaling of hydrogen deployments and the creation of interconnected hydrogen ecosystems across India.”

As storage and transportation processes of hydrogen are fairly mature and standardised globally, the main challenge to using hydrogen as an energy source lies in mapping the many hydrogen generation technologies to their ideal end-use cases—such as petrochemicals, ammonia production, steel plants, fuel cells, blending with CNG, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and hydrogen locomotives. A further challenge lies in setting up technologically feasible early pilots.Moreover, significant roadblocks also exist in integrating existing use cases with green hydrogen technologies.

These challenges and potential solutions were discussed at the event, which saw participation from key players in the hydrogen value chain, i.e., producers, consumers, original equipment manufacturers, systems integrators, research institutes, and state enablers. The ensuing discussions between these stakeholders helped bring out key hurdles being faced by key ecosystem players, and build consensus on the ideal approach to kickstarting the transition of the state to a green hydrogen-based economy. The event follows previous discussions conducted by RICH with key industry stakeholders in Telangana, including NTPC Renewable Energy Limited, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited R&D (BHEL), the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), the Heavy Water Board (HWB), the Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (RFCL), the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), IIT Hyderabad, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Indian Railways, among others.

Today, RICH has taken the lead in helping Telangana set its course to become a green hydrogen economy, and looks forward to continuing to be a major enabler in this endeavour.

About RICH

Launched in 2017 by the Government of Telangana, RICH aims to solve complex local and national challenges by facilitating collaborative networks between diverse stakeholders of the research and innovation space. RICH operates in 3 major sectors: Food and Agriculture, Lifesciences, and Sustainability. It is the nodal agency for the Hyderabad Science and Technology cluster, an initiative spearheaded by the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. As part of this initiative, RICH has initiated multidisciplinary projects in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, health, and waste management.