How Gujarat is working to become India’s green hydrogen hub

Gujarat has set the ball rolling to become the country’s green hydrogen manufacturing hub and retain its dominance over the industrial sector. The State has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with several big corporates, including Reliance, Adani, ArcelorMittal and Torrent, which have pledged huge investments in green energy projects and have been allotted land for the same.

“We aim to become a hub for green hydrogen by creating a production capacity of 8 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) by 2035,” State Industries Minister Balwantsinh Rajput said.

The State is framing a new policy for green hydrogen manufacturing, which will be given the status of a “priority sector”, said officials. The State Cabinet approved the allotment of 1.99 lakh hectares in the Kutch-Banaskantha border areas against the proposals, by the corporates that signed the MoUs, for setting up projects across 3.26 lakh hectares. The land parcels will be allotted on a 40-year lease initially.

The government will provide a range of incentives to the industries investing in the State’s green hydrogen projects, officials said. As per the land allotment policy, the companies must meet 50% of their green hydrogen production capacity within five years of commissioning their plants and 100% within eight years.

Zero emission country

Under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), India has set a target of becoming a net-zero emission country by 2070. The country also aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 by sourcing 50% of its energy from renewable sources.

“As a State with a favourable policy regime and solid infrastructure base, Gujarat will be a hub for green energy and its ecosystem,” an official said, adding, “the State is expecting around ₹10 lakh crore worth of investments in this new sector over the next 15 years.”

Any company intending to set up a green hydrogen plant in Gujarat should have prior experience in producing at least 500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy or should be a user of “green”, “blue”, or “brown” hydrogen.

Major opportunities

Among the companies that have signed MoUs with the State, the Reliance group has committed investments worth ₹5.6 lakh crore to set up a renewable energy park and a green hydrogen park in Gujarat. The Adani group has also made significant commitments, announcing plans to invest more than ₹4.13 lakh crore over the next 10 years in green hydrogen and associated ecosystems to create a capacity to produce up to 3 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually.

The companies plan to set up factories for solar photovoltaic modules, electrolysers, energy storage batteries and fuel cells, and wind and solar projects.

In its recent Union Budget, the Centre allocated ₹19,744 crore for the National Green Hydrogen Mission, which seeks to promote the development of green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 MMT (Million Metric Tonnes) per annum, with an associated renewable energy capacity addition of about 125 gigawatts (GW) in the country by 2030. In addition, the policy aims to attract investment of over ₹8 lakh crore and create over 6 lakh jobs by 2030.