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Tapping startups, global investors may boost green hydrogen mission: study

Move could help a range of sectors, including agriculture, transport and manufacturing, says study

Tapping startups, global investors may boost green hydrogen mission: study
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

A $2.1 billion drive to position India as a global green hydrogen leader has garnered interest from big private sector investors, but tapping startups and global firms could amplify potential, a study suggested.

Large Indian companies have bid for tenders issued for both electrolyser manufacturing and green hydrogen production under the National Green Hydrogen Mission’s Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) program.

In both categories, the bids received by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), which is overseeing the SIGHT program, had exceeded the capacity offered under the program’s incentives.

“By leveraging India’s advantage in low-cost renewable electricity, the SIGHT program aims to achieve competitive domestic electrolyser manufacturing and reduce the costs of green hydrogen production,” Vibhuti Garg, director of South Asia at Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and author of the study, said.

“The program can be improved further to attract startups, be competitive for global players and create a supply chain and secure demand to ensure the industry’s long-term viability. If successful, it could help build India’s green hydrogen industry with benefits for a range of sectors, including agriculture, transport and manufacturing,” Garg said in the report, titled ‘India’s $2.1 billion Leap Towards its Green Hydrogen Vision’.

The SIGHT program offers Rs4.44 billion (about $541 million) of incentives for companies to set up 1,500 megawatts (MW) of electrolyser manufacturing capacity.

SECI received bids for more than double the capacity target at 3,328.5MW from 21 bidders. Eight companies were successful, including Reliance Electrolyser Manufacturing, John Cockerill Green Hydrogen Solutions and Jindal India, each securing 300MW.

The remaining capacity was divided between Ohmium Operations, Advait Infratech and Larsen and Toubro, HomiHydrogen and Adani New Industries.

“Most winning participants had prior tie-ups with electrolyser technology companies, some even securing technology licence agreements before bid submission, showcasing proactive strategies that contributed to their success,” said the report’s co-author, Jyoti Gulia, founder of JMK Research and Analytics.

For green hydrogen production, SECI received bids that exceeded the offered capacity by more than 100,000 metric tons per annum (mtpa). SIGHT is offering Rs130.5 billion (about $1.57 billion) as incentives for setting up 450,000 mtpa. But, SECI received bids for 551,500 mtpa from 13 bidders.

Winners include Reliance, Greenko, ACME, HHP Two (Hygenco), Torrent Power, CESC Projects, Welspun, UPL, JSW Neo Energy and Bharat Petroleum. However, almost 38,000 mtpa of biomass-based capacity remains unallocated.

“Despite the enthusiasm, using green hydrogen to decarbonize domestic end-use industries remains uncertain due to challenges such as infrastructure limitations, regulatory ambiguities and the absence of clear mandates for its use,” the report’s co-author, Kapil Gupta, a manager at JMK Research, said.

“The winners will likely focus on export markets due to challenges and price concerns in the domestic market. The sector grapples with stringent safety regulations, technology changes, project delays, policy uncertainties and a need for robust hydrogen supply chain infrastructure,” he added.


Javaid Naikoo is a senior correspondent at Press Insider. A seasoned and analytical journalist, Javaid covers economy and policy from New Delhi. He has reported on politics, business and social issues in the past, and also has a keen interest in photojournalism. His compelling words and art have appeared across domestic and global publications. More

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