The Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy R. K. Singh has said that round-the-clock renewable energy will cost just about Rs. 6 per unit if green hydrogen is used for storage. Speaking at the Special Ministerial Session of the Fourth International Conference & Exhibition on Clean Energy in New Delhi today, R. K. Singh said that the cost of Green Hydrogen would be cheapest in India and that the Green Hydrogen would become a viable energy storage alternative. “Green hydrogen is cheaper than gas and battery energy storage systems. We have come up with a pilot bid for about 100 MW which we hope will establish the benchmark. Once we are able to use green hydrogen for our energy requirements, all supply chain issues such as availability of lithium-ion batteries will be resolved. We will make green hydrogen and use it as storage. The average price of power in the energy exchange has recently been Rs. 8 per unit, so if our cost for round-the-clock renewable energy comes to Rs. 6 per unit, we are in business. That is what the future is: renewables. The future is here, not far away.” The theme of the Special Ministerial Session, held on the closing day of the two-day summit, was “Global Champions for Advancing Clean Energy Innovation & Manufacturing”.
The Minister informed the industry that the basic legal framework for carbon market has been formulated and that the government is thinking of permitting the industry gain carbon credits for green hydrogen and green ammonia which is exported from India. With this, the industry will have yet another advantage, which will make Indian industry totally competitive, added the Minister.
The Minister said that the renewable energy industry of India is now world-beating, consisting of majors who can compete anywhere. Singh told the industry that the government has made sure that it has opened the paths for the growth of the industry. “We have been leading with policy papers, rules and regulations, opening new doors. We came with Green Open Access Rules, where we have given right for anybody to set up capacity anywhere and transfer it to wherever they want. I have written to all industry captains to switch over from thermal to renewables, this shift will also bring down price of energy.”
The Minister informed that the spirit of Electricity Act 2003 is open access and that timelines for grant of open access have been given in the Act. “If grant of open access is not given within the timeline, it will be deemed to have been granted. Somebody will have to answer if it is not given; the person who heads that institution such as a State Electricity Authority will be punished if the law is violated.”
Shri Singh added that the government has made the power system friendly to industry and to consumers. “We came up with consumer rights; we will investigate whether the violation has happened, and we will file a prosecution in the court of law.”
Speaking of the rapidly growing energy demand, the Minister said that energy demand of the country will continue to grow rapidly since our economy is growing fast. “We need energy demand as fast as possible to meet this demand. We will make the electricity required for our growth. If our price for round-the-clock renewable energy is anything to go by, then we will not have to go the thermal way, we will adopt the renewable path. About 42 per cent of our capacity is from renewable sources already.”
The Minister pointed out that India is emerging as a manufacturing powerhouse of renewable energy. “Around 88,000 MW renewable energy capacity is under construction and our plan is to add 50,000 MW of renewable energy capacity every year. We are already emerging as an exporter. The world will come to rely on us more and more. So, all those who are setting up capacity have made a good bet. At the same time, we need to keep ourselves at the leading edge of technology.”
The Minister added that India is going to emerge as the biggest exporter of solar cells and modules and that more grid capacity is being added.
The Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister said that more and more people are going to come and invest in renewable energy sector in the country. “UAE wants to make investment here, since they see the future here. Getting investment for green transition is not an issue, investment is coming since we have de-risked the system and made the whole system transparent. Every generator’s power bills are totally up-to-date. Legacy dues of discoms have been reduced to less than half of what they were, and this too will be wiped out in next 2 – 3 years. Every genco is now profitable. AT&C losses have come down and the system is totally viable now. Everything has been made conditional on prudential norms.”
The Minister informed that 5.8 million tons of green hydrogen at various stages of capacity is already being set up, under the National Green Hydrogen Mission. “We will be the biggest exporter since our green hydrogen and green ammonia cost is going to be the lowest in the world. And we will come up with another bid for grid scale storage. All that you have to do is to take advantage of the growing demand. Future Renewable Energy Purchase Obligations are going to be issued under the revised Energy Conservation Act. If any obligated entity falls short, they will have to pay a huge penalty.”
The Minister assured the industry that this is an era of huge growth for energy. “I believe all of you are fully confident and capable of the huge opportunities lying there for you. We want Make in India and manufacturing in India. But if you are not competitive and up-to-date, you will not succeed. I want all of you to be world-scale.”