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India’s Energy Security Challenges & Opportunities

India, as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, is grappling with the dual challenge of meeting its ever-increasing energy needs while also reducing its carbon footprint. With its energy demands projected to double by 2040, India’s reliance on fossil fuels poses a significant threat to its energy security and sustainability, with the added issue of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Therefore, the adoption of clean energy technologies and sustainable practices has become crucial for India’s energy security and the long-term health of its economy and environment. 

In this blog, we will explore India’s energy landscape, its challenges and opportunities, challenges, and the steps being taken to secure a sustainable energy future for the nation.

India’s Energy Security Challenges

India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, but it faces a huge challenge in meeting its growing energy demand while reducing its carbon footprint. The country’s energy needs are expected to double by 2040, and the majority of this demand is currently being met by fossil fuels.

This dependence on imported fossil fuels makes India vulnerable to price volatility and geopolitical risks. At the same time, the use of fossil fuels is contributing to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, which are major environmental and health hazards. India is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for around 7% of global emissions.

Apart from this, India has other several challenges regarding its energy security, which can be broadly classified into policy, accessibility, infrastructure, and economic and external challenges. Some of these challenges are:

  • Policy challenges: Failure to attract international investment in domestic hydrocarbon exploration e.g., New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) failed to attract the interest of large international energy corporations. Lack of a coherent and consistent policy framework for renewable energy development and integration. Regulatory hurdles and delays in land acquisition, environmental clearance, and forest clearance for energy projects1.
  • Accessibility challenges: The household sector is one of the largest consumers of energy in India. However, millions of households still lack access to reliable and affordable electricity and clean cooking fuels. According to the World Bank, around 50 million people in India still live without electricity, and around 660 million people rely on solid biomass, mainly firewood, as cooking fuel.
  • Infrastructure and skill-related challenges: Lack of skilled manpower and poorly developed infrastructure for developing conventional and unconventional energy sources. Inadequate transmission and distribution network for electricity, resulting in high losses and frequent power cuts. Limited storage capacity for oil and gas, making India vulnerable to supply disruptions. Low penetration of smart grids and metering systems for efficient management of electricity demand and supply.
  • Economic challenges: High cost of importing fossil fuels, puts a strain on India’s current account balance and fiscal deficit. Subsidies for fossil fuels and electricity, distort market signals and discourage efficiency and innovation. Low affordability of clean energy technologies for many consumers, especially in rural areas. High capital cost and risk involved in developing renewable energy projects.
  • External challenges: Geopolitical instability and conflicts in the energy-rich regions of the world, such as West Asia and the South China Sea. Competition from other energy-importing countries, such as China, for securing energy supplies from abroad. Trade barriers and sanctions imposed by some countries on energy exports or imports. Environmental concerns and pressure from the international community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Green hydrogen is a clean and renewable energy source that can decarbonize major industrial sectors and reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports. Green hydrogen is produced through the process of electrolysis, which uses electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Unlike hydrogen produced from fossil fuels, green hydrogen is a zero-emission fuel that does not release any greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

India has abundant renewable energy resources, with a total solar potential of 750 GW and a total wind potential of 302 GW. By using these resources to produce green hydrogen, India can enhance its energy security and achieve its climate change goals. The country has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 45% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

Opportunities for Green Hydrogen in India

India has several opportunities to tap into the potential of green hydrogen. The country’s National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap, released in 2021, identifies several sectors where green hydrogen can be used, including transportation, industry, power generation, and buildings. Some of the opportunities for green hydrogen in these sectors are:

  • Transportation: Green hydrogen can be used to power fuel cell vehicles, which are more efficient and have longer ranges than battery electric vehicles. Fuel cell vehicles can also reduce tailpipe emissions and noise pollution. India has already launched a pilot project to run buses on green hydrogen in Delhi.
  • Industry: Green hydrogen can be used to replace fossil fuels in various industrial processes that require high temperatures or chemical reactions, such as steelmaking, ammonia production, and refining. Green hydrogen can also be used to produce green ammonia, which can be used as a fertilizer or a fuel for shipping.
  • Power generation: Green hydrogen can be used to store excess renewable energy and provide backup power during peak demand or grid outages. Green hydrogen can also be blended with natural gas to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.
  • Buildings: Green hydrogen can be used to provide heating and cooling for buildings, either directly or through fuel cells. Green hydrogen can also be used to produce green synthetic fuels, such as methanol or dimethyl ether, which can be used for cooking or heating.

India has launched the National Green Hydrogen Mission in 2022 to accelerate the adoption of green hydrogen in the country and establish the country as a global leader in the production and use of green hydrogen and its derivatives. The mission has set a target of producing one kilogram of green hydrogen at a cost of less than Rs 100 by 2023 and reducing the cost to less than Rs 60 by 2025. The mission also aims to establish a network of green hydrogen production plants, storage facilities, and distribution infrastructure across the country.

We At GH2 Solar

GH2 Solar is a technology-oriented company that has vast experience in executing oil and refineries solar rooftop & large-scale utility projects across India. Being already experienced in the renewable sector, now we are working on the development of “Green Hydrogen” & HAAS (Hydrogen as a Service). If you are planning to adopt Green Hydrogen, you can connect with GH2 Solar to get all information about the same.

For more information, please give us a call at 1800-102-8685

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