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Global energy leaders aim to work with India to meet its hydrogen needs


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Singapore — Leaders from nations pushing ahead with clean fuel initiatives said April 15 they would collaborate with India to meet its hydrogen aspirations as New Delhi aims to embrace the carbon-free fuel in a wide range of sectors in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint and cut dependence on imported fossil fuels.

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Speaking at the ministerial session of the conference held virtually and titled "Hydrogen Economy: New Delhi Dialogue - 2021" speakers from the US, the UAE, Australia and Denmark said they were working closely with the Indian government as well as private players in the country to expand opportunities for the carbon-free fuel.

David Turk, US Deputy Secretary of Energy, said the US was working with partners in India to launch a US-India Hydrogen Task Force under the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership initiative.

"This public-private task force will help expand the use of hydrogen, leveraging competencies from our respective ministries, as well as industry partners to facilitate the commercialization of hydrogen technologies," Turk said.

"We will focus on production, transportation, industrial use and hydrogen as an energy storage medium, as well as the financial structures that will need to be present to ensure hydrogen's success," he said, adding that the US would also share information on safety, codes and standards to ensure a competitive global supply chain.

Related report: India pledges to speed up building hydrogen infrastructure in push towards clean fuels

Electrolysis, carbon capture

The US currently produces more than 10 million mt/year of hydrogen, roughly one seventh of the global supply -- mostly from steam methane reforming. The country is working towards decarbonizing this process through carbon capture, utilization and storage.

"We are also ramping up hydrogen production through electrolysis using renewables as well as nuclear resources," Turk said.

The US has also launched efforts to drive down the cost of electrolysers by more than a factor of three and achieve a hydrogen cost of less than $2 per kg, while also continuing to focus on cost reduction of hydrogen storage and delivery technologies, as well as conversion technologies like fuel cells and turbines.

"Blending hydrogen into natural gas pipelines is another area of interest," Turk said.

Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE's Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said hydrogen could be a game-changer, offering a real opportunity to accelerate the broader energy transition process -- an opportunity that ADNOC and the UAE were well placed to capitalize on.

"We believe ADNOC can become a major player in the developing blue hydrogen market," he said. "While we are prioritizing blue hydrogen at ADNOC, we are also exploring the potential of green hydrogen through the Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Alliance."

"As India's demand for energy grows, we stand ready to help meet that demand by making the full portfolio of our products available to the Indian market," he said.

Related report: ADNOC, India mull collaboration in new energy areas, including hydrogen: CEO

Australia, Denmark

Angus Taylor, Australia's minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, told the conference that India's interest in using hydrogen to diversify its energy mix provided Australia with an exciting opportunity to work on both the bilateral and multilateral levels.

"Australia is taking a technology-based approach to enhancing our energy security and reducing emissions -- and clean hydrogen is an important part of this approach," Taylor said.

He said that Australia had abundant land and energy resources, including solar and natural gas, large carbon storage reservoirs, and a strong science and research base.

Taylor said the country's National Hydrogen Strategy and Technology Investment Roadmap were guiding the efforts. The Australian government has committed over $570 million to back the industry.

"We expect this to drive billions of dollars in new investment by the private sector and other levels of government across Australia. Australia's goal is to drive down the cost of clean hydrogen to under $2 per kg," Taylor said.

Related analysis: Asia's 'H2 at $2' green hydrogen target is a mission not impossible

Dan Jorgensen, Denmark's minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, said the country had entered into a green strategic partnership with India that would enable both countries to cooperate and promote sustainable solutions.

"With this partnership, we will significantly expand our cooperation within renewable energy," he said.

Related topic: Hydrogen: Beyond the hype