Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary Pankaj Jain has emphasised the need to produce 25 million metric tonnes (MTT) of hydrogen energy by 2050 to meet the country’s energy needs. The country’s energy consumption is one-third of the world average but is increasing at three times the world average due to factors including a growing population, he said.

Jain, an esteemed speaker, spoke about these matters at the keynote address of the ‘Hydrogen Energy Resources and Opportunities 2023’ Global Energy Environment Summit. The event, organized by the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) in Visakhapatnam.

Usage as aviation fuel

During his address, Jain highlighted the historical usage of hydrogen as aviation fuel before the Second World War and emphasized its current significance in energy production. He stressed the need to produce 25 million metric tons (MMT) of hydrogen energy, with 75% coming from electrolysis and 30% from coal and natural gas. To achieve a successful hydrogen economy, Jain proposed a comprehensive approach involving regulations, infrastructure development, and trade rules in collaboration with other nations. Additionally, he suggested focusing on technology transfer, risk mitigation, multi-institutional engagement, and the establishment of interoperable standards.

Jain expressed his hopes that IIPE Visakhapatnam would emerge as a leading academic and research institution in the energy sector, playing a pivotal role in achieving the set goals. He also envisioned Visakhapatnam becoming a prominent production cluster for hydrogen energy in the future.

According to Prof. Shalivahan, the Director of IIPE, their institute’s primary research objective is to fulfill the country’s energy requirements by focusing on both fossil and non-renewable energy sources. Additionally, they feel a significant responsibility to contribute towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), particularly in ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable modern energy.

Shalivahan emphasized IIPE’s commitment to aligning their research with the vision presented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP-26 in Glasgow, known as the ‘Panchamrita,’ which aims to address climate challenges. The Summit convener, Prof. Somnath Ghosh, highlighted that the event has been organized to provide comprehensive insights into various aspects of Hydrogen Energy, including Production, Storage, Transport, and Policy.

This comes in light of India’s commitment to building a $2 billion hydrogen economy. Further, M. Kamalakar Babu, the Managing Director of Andhra Pradesh State Solar Power Corporation, shared that the State government has recently formulated a Green Hydrogen Policy in June 2023. In their pursuit to develop Visakhapatnam as a ‘Hydrogen City,’ they are actively collaborating with IIPE Visakhapatnam to make significant progress in this direction.

By Venkatesh Ganesh

Writes on Renewables, Tech, Infrastructure. Stints with news outlets such as Hindu BusinessLine, HT, Indian Express.