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IESW 2022: Manufacturing and Technology landscape for Green Hydrogen

From left to right: Pawan Mulukutla, Director (Clean Mobility and Energy Tech) at WRI India, who moderated the session; Pawan Mehndiratta, Head (Corporate Centre - Tech & Manufacturing) at L&T Green Energy; Guncha Munjal, Project Manager (Hydrogen) at WRI India; and Stephen Fernands, President - CES.

 Green hydrogen (H2) is heralded as the future of sustainable energy transition in India. Although the Union government and Indian companies have pledged to commit significant policy and investments into green hydrogen projects in the coming years, the technologies are yet to mature and the allied ecosystem for hydrogen manufacturing is absent. This was indeed the taking point at one of the sessions of the India Energy Storage Week 2022 held at New Delhi early this month.

Pawan K Mehndiratta, Head, Corporate Centre – Technology and Landscape, L&T Green Energy, said that a whole gamut of applications and potentials are opening up in the green H2 sector in India. "We have to develop reliable and low-cost technologies on green hydrogen production in India from international collaborations. An entire array of ecosystem and supply chain services needs to be created", he added.

Speaking on various green hydrogen technology trends, he said that in near term, Alkaline Electrolysis Cell (AEC) is likely to be used for large scale applications, as the technology is well-established and successfully commercialized. "For mid-large-scale applications, Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) and other technologies like AEM and SOEC are likely to catch up in the coming years", he noted.

Magnus Thomassen, Chief Product Officer, Hystar, spoke on PEM electrolyzer for large-scale H2 production. He claimed that Hystar's patented solution enables use of thin membranes for increased efficiency, and its modular design offers scalable solutions from MW to GW installations. "Initial products will be container-based with large scale systems available from 2023", he said.

Other aspects of manufacturing technologies such as surface finishing solutions for manufacturing and transportation of hydrogen were also discussed. Bernd Frank, Global OEM Director, Atotech discussed various aspects of surface finishing solutions consisting of electroless Nickel for AEL and PEM, meant for H2 creation, transportation, and use.

"India has a large domestic market and demand potential for green H2. We should target about 5 MMT of green H2 production by 2030", said Dr. Guncha Munjal, Project Manager – Hydrogen, WRI India. She added that for scaling up electrolyzers, a comprehensive study on H2 supply chain and a deep dive assessment on vulnerabilities and opportunities are required. This will help involve suppliers from the start of developing an ecosystem.

Munjal also made a supply chain mapping for current and future needs of electrolyzers. Speakers at the event agreed with her that fiscal support mechanism involving FDIs and direct capital funding along with indirect financial impetus are needed to push the sector into momentum. "Policy and regulatory support by way of demand-supply push-pull mechanisms and a level-playing field for domestic manufacturers are need of the hour", she opined.

Speakers also called for increased commercialization of electrocatalytic hydrogen production and evolution of standards and codes for the industry, thereby enabling start-ups and domestic players to develop economically-viable and competitive business models. 

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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