International Climate Summit 2021: Roadmap to Energy Security through Green Hydrogen unveiled

International Climate Summit 2021: Roadmap to Energy Security through Green Hydrogen unveiled

International  Climate  Summit  2021,  an initiative by the  Environment  Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Invest India was organised in New Delhi, India, in partnership with NITI Aayog, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, CSIR and the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.

The theme of the Summit was ‘Powering India’s Hydrogen Ecosystem’.

The event was aimed to propel India towards a carbon-free energy ecosystem and become a global key player in renewable energy. ICS 2021 was a hybrid event attended by dignitaries including Nobel Laureates, Policy Makers, Regulators, Industry Experts and Scientists from across the globe.

As a precursor to the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled in November 2021 in Glasgow, the Summit served as a platform to establish an ecosystem and bring stakeholders together from the global clean energy industry, while creating opportunities for international partnerships in the field of Green Hydrogen.

Norway was the partner country for the Summit.

Supported by Ministries of New and Renewable Energy, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Power, Coal, Earth Sciences, and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), the event was backed by over including Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Reliance Industries Limited, Hindustan Zinc Ltd, UPL Limited, ONGC Ltd, Veritas Polychem, Deepak Ferilizers & Chemicals, GAIL (India) Ltd, Nayara Energy Limited, IHB Limited, Acme Group, Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd, GE Gas Turbines, and OIL India Ltd etc as industry partners.

India as a climate-conscious nation has taken a number of measures that reinforce its promise towards the environment. Launch of the National Hydrogen Energy Mission as announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji during his 75th  Independence Day address to the nation on 15th August 2021, also reinforced the country’s commitment towards a clean and green future. It was a poignant moment as he spoke from the ramparts of the Red Fort, about transforming India into a global Green Hydrogen hub for production and exports.

Taking the mission forward, ICS 2021 witnessed three significant developments namely, the release of a Knowledge Book titled, ‘Self Reliant India – Harnessing the Power of Hydrogen’; launch of the National Hydrogen Portal; and announcement for setting up of Centers of Excellence in Hydrogen (CoE-H), for capacity building in the entire hydrogen value chain,

In the inaugural speech during the Summit, Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Science & Technology, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance, Govt. of India and Shri. Ashwani Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble Minister of State for Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India stressed on the urgency to address climate challenges through consolidated approach and timely interventions while emphasizing on shifting to cleaner options like green hydrogen as a potential energy source for a more sustainable future.

In the words of Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (I/C) of the Ministry of Science & Technology, “Our undivided energies should be invested to attain our aim of minimising emission and that is only possible if we adopt a proactive approach. Green hydrogen will not only enable us to reduce emissions but also help India across several verticals and align with PM Modi’s vision of our nation being self-reliant. It’s about time that we collectively work towards making India a Green Hydrogen Hub, not just for ourselves but for the bigger picture where we are considerate of the world as a whole. We have the capability and the capacity to facilitate clean hydrogen energy for the world; this is the appropriate time to get into action and create a world worth thriving in.”

Ashwini Choubey, Minister of State for the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India said ““The need of the hour is to cater to the depleting cover and growing concerns urgently, to create a sustainable platform for clean energy. We intend to achieve 40% of non-fossil usage by 2030, making a significant stride towards improving the current state of the country and establishing a green hydrogen ecosystem to smoothen the path to responsible living. It’s time to redirect our attention towards creating and sustaining an alternate source of energy and mandating it for developing and developed nations alike to take the onus to nurture the health and wellbeing of each one of us on this planet.”

Dr. Jitendra Singh,  Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Science also launched the National Hydrogen Portal The platform will now become a one-stop information source for research, production, storage, transportation and application of hydrogen across the country & Technology.

Ashwani Kumar Choubey released a special Knowledge Book titled “Self Reliant India – Harnessing the Power of Hydrogen,” during the event. Jointly authored by Dr. Karen Landmark from Greenstat, Norway and Dr. J.P Gupta (Chair, Environment Committee PHDCCI) along with an Indo-Norwegian team of scientists, researchers and academicians, the Knowledge Book will serve as a repository of information and a useful guide for institutions and organisations embarking on the road to energy transformation and a subsequent transition from fossil fuels to new value chains based on renewable energy.

The International Climate Summit 2021 began with a special address delivered by Ms. Tina Bru, Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Govt. of Norway, saying ”Green Hydrogen has the potential to realise low to zero-emission solutions in the transportation, industry and shipping sectors thus opening up new opportunities in these sectors. The Norwegian Government presented a white paper recently called ‘Energy to Work’ about long term value creation from Norwegian energy resources. Since India is the world’s third-biggest consumer and producer of energy with rapidly growing consumption in the decades to come, we commend the efforts of the Government of India launching ambitious targets for developing clean energy. A closer collaboration between Indian and Norwegian companies can definitely accelerate our steps towards a common low-emission future.”

This was followed by a special virtual address delivered by Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, “India is determined to achieve ‘Azaadi’ from dependence on fossil energy and become ‘AatmaNirbhar’ in new and renewable energy. Since Climate change is undoubtedly the most daunting challenge facing human civilization today, we should rapidly transition to a new era of clean, green and renewable energy. By investing in smart microgrids, efficient storage solutions and smart meters, we can enable individuals, neighbourhoods and communities to become both consumers and producers of energy. Green hydrogen, a zero-carbon energy will play a fundamental role in the world’s decarbonization plans.

Reliance Industries is fully committed to realizing the mission of our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to fuel India’s green economy using clean energy. Basis our last year’s announcement of making Reliance a net carbon zero company by 2035, we have prepared a new roadmap which will be the next big value creation engine for Reliance and India. We have started developing the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga complex in over 5,000 acres on Jamnagar, Gujrat. It will be amongst the largest, integrated renewable energy manufacturing facilities anywhere in the world. Over the next 3 years, we will invest over 75,000 crores in these initiatives to create a fully integrated end-to-end renewable energy ecosystem for the Indians. Reliance will aim to produce 100GW of solar energy by 2030 out of India’s goal to reach 450 GW.

India will soon achieve the goals of transforming India from a large importer of fossil energy to a large exporter of clean energy solutions.”

International Climate Summit 2021 witnessed the coming together of policy makers, academicians and industry experts from Norway and India in their quest for green energy solutions and to arrive at a consensus in matters pertaining to climate change and sustainability.

The summit also witnessed keynote addresses delivered by Nobuo Tanaka Special Advisor, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation and Deepak Bagla Managing Director & CEO. Invest India, Sturle Harald Pedersen Chairman, Greenstat India, Norway and Cristian Valdes Carter, Director, Innovation Norway India.

The Norwegian Ambassador to India. Hans Jacob Frydenlund, also delivered his keynote address and spoke about an Indo-Norwegian alliance and partnership to help establish a strong knowledge and export hub for Green Hydrogen in the region, and become a global force in climate change mitigation.

The Summit included virtual sessions that were spearheaded by eminent speakers like Mr. Anurag Pandey RIL R&D Lead and India H2 Alliance (IH2A), RIL; Mr. Sturle Harald Pedersen, Chairman, Greenstat India, Norway; Prof. Dr. Arthur Riedacker (Co-Nobel Laureate); Dr. Ashish Lele, Director, National Chemical Laboratory; Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mr. Vegard Frihammer, Founder & CEO, Greenstat Chair H2 Cluster, Norway; Dr. Sunita Satyapal, Director, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology Office, US Department of Energy; and many other distinguished experts. Discussions on topics related to International Alliances and Coalitions, International and Private Sector Funding, Policy Regulations, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen in Transportation, setting up of Centers of Excellence in Hydrogen, and Role of Hydrogen for a Carbon Neutral Ladakh constituted an important part of the Summit that opened doors to new perspectives and ideas on climate change mitigation.

The Summit addressed climate concerns and essayed to build a dialogue for India’s transition to clean energy. It encouraged all stakeholders to put in collaborative efforts to devise solutions pertaining to hydrogen and its applications as a green fuel. From producing and storing to transferring pressurized and liquefied hydrogen, aspects of the entire value chain were deliberated upon during the event. The global event also witnessed significant discussions on exploring possibilities in blue and green hydrogen production and storage for heavy-duty transportation of hydrogen used in industrial, steel, refinery, cement and logistics clusters.

International Climate Summit 2021 also paid attention to the economic aspects of the green fuel economy to create awareness about how shifting to ‘Green Hydrogen’ strategies will create an ecosystem that will not only improve air quality but also significantly reduce carbon emissions.

ICS 2021 was perhaps the biggest ever hydrogen-focused global Summit to be held in India. It was an earnest effort by the Environment Committee of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry chaired by Dr. J. P. Gupta that brought all the stakeholders together while highlighting the need to build an India-centric and action-oriented approach for attaining self-reliance and energy security.

The key takeaways from the Summit were:

  • Release of a Knowledge Book titled ‘Self Reliant India – Harnessing the Power of Hydrogen’. A guide on energy transformation from fossil fuels to greener options, the book is the outcome of an Indo-Norwegian collaboration.
  • Launch of the National Hydrogen Portal, a repository of all academic & research work, and other significant developments in the field of hydrogen.
  • Announcement on Setting up ‘Centers of Excellence (CoE-H)’ as collaborative hydrogen competence centers, established by joint efforts between government institutions and agencies, industry, research institutions and academia from both Norway and India. This will assist in capacity building through a strong knowledge base and create a qualified workforce of engineers and technicians to install, monitor, operate and maintain integrated fuel-cells and hydrogen systems. 
  • Formation of ‘International Hydrogen Alliance’ similar to ‘International Solar Alliance’ for rapid introduction of Hydrogen energy for various applications, as no single company or country can offer solutions for the entire value chain in hydrogen.
  • JVs in Hydrogen production, fuel cells, storage, transportation and applications to strengthen the ‘Make in India’ mission.
  • Promote Ladakh as a carbon-neutral model region.
  • Explore hydrogen as a potential fuel for the transportation sector including local public passenger transport, heavy-duty road transport and commercial vehicles, as well as marine, rail, and possibly, aviation.

ICS 2021 will be followed by monthly round table conferences and discussions with key players across the value chain. Subsequently, a final report with suggestions and final recommendations on ‘Powering India’s Hydrogen Ecosystem’ would be submitted to the Government of India by the end of year 2021.

Sanjay Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry expressed confidence that the Summit will give a boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative in developing India’s Hydrogen Ecosystem. He said, “The Summit is timely and important for the country to build a hydrogen economy, and the policies and a roadmap for its use in future.”

According to Dr. J. P. Gupta, the Summit Chair and Chairman, Environment Committee, PHDCCI, “India is uniquely placed to produce hydrogen for its own needs. However, there is an urgent need to address all issues pertaining to clean energy simultaneously. This would not only help in finding a set of balanced, positive, and beneficial solutions for the future but also propel India in becoming a global export hub for Green Hydrogen”. Dr. Gupta further added, “If we can succeed in harnessing even 1% of the solar energy reaching our planet to create Green Hydrogen, it will go a long way in reducing the carbon burden and break the cycle of global warming.”