Minister for Power and Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh said that India would not shy away from imposing “barriers” to Western imports of clean energy, if the latter raised barriers to India’s potential exports of green hydrogen.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a three-day international conference on Green Hydrogen on Wednesday.
“ We want the whole world to partner with us, and not set up barriers like some countries have started doing. For decades, these countries have given speeches on the benefits and ethics of free trade and now those countries are setting up barriers, which is shameful. Barriers can be put up by both parties....if you do, we can put them up as well. The difference is if India puts up barriers, then you will not be able to access the biggest market in the world outside of China. If you want to go to China that is your choice…My message to these countries is: Two can play this game,” said Mr. Singh. The Minister did not explicitly name countries but the allusions are to a recent, global tender, worth at least €900 million (about ₹7,300 crore) by Germany inviting green ammonia imports from outside of the European Union. Green ammonia is made from hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources and nitrogen, and is a key industrial chemical.
Indian industry has reportedly told the government that some clauses of the tender were “restrictive” particularly one that said that the distance between the point where renewable energy was produced and where an electrolyser (which produces hydrogen) was located. “These are ridiculous barriers. We transport electricity over thousands of kilometres. We are setting up a 13,000 MW (solar and wind) facility to transfer electricity and will transfer it to Assam and Tuticorin, thousands of kilometres away. So what’s the point of such restrictions?” Mr. Singh said at the conference.
He also alluded to the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act that promises subsidies of upto $3/kg of clean hydrogen, as a “barrier.” India’s recently announced National Green Hydrogen Mission attempts to build capacity to produce at least 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030. To this end, the Ministry of Renewable Energy issued guidelines last week for providing funds worth ₹17,490 crore to support the manufacture of electrolysers.