Hydrogen tech collaboration with Fraunhofer Germany can speed up India’s clean energy transition


The letter of intent signed India and Germany  on hydrogen and clean energy tech has a potential of fast-tracking clean energy transition goals in India. The Head, Energy Technologies Cell, Department of Science and Technology DST, Dr. Anita Gupta, and Director, Division Hydrogen Technologies, Fraunhofer ISE, Prof. Christopher Hebling, today signed the LoI in presence of Secretary, DST, Dr. S Chandrasekhar. The event was attended by top scientists and officials from Indo-German Science & Technology Centre and Fraunhofer India on the both sides.

What is this coming together about? India and Germany share the goal of decarbonising their economies and are committed to collaborating jointly in the pursuit of energy security and climate protection. Both countries have committed to develop a national green hydrogen economy to facilitate achievement of the Paris Agreement targets.

The tie-up will trigger development of higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL) for hydrogen energy clusters being set up by DST and identify existing technologies and potential interventions from Fraunhofer in green hydrogen, integrate them with indigenous technologies, and deploy and calibrate these technologies for the Indian conditions.

The DST will provide the enabling framework for cooperation in the hydrogen valley cluster projects, support activities, and facilitate the resources needed wherever applicable and possible. Whereas Fraunhofer acts as a technology partner for the hydrogen valley cluster, provides information and access to technologies of TRL 5 – 8, scientific and technical experts, collaboration in preparing technology roadmaps and guidelines for the innovation ecosystem.

This collaboration will certainly pave the way to forge active engagements and collaborations based on mutual needs and strength to further research and technological capabilities in the hydrogen and clean energy sector. It would help in accelerating pathways for energy transition in India.

New Delhi’s sense of urgency in achieving clean energy gaols and meeting climate targets need not be overstated. Only three days ago, India called for a greater cooperation with France in the field of clean energy and highlighted New Delhi’s plans for green transitioning to Electric Vehicles and hydrogen energy.

The announcement was made at Indo-French Workshop on Clean and Sustainable Energy Technologies at National Physical Laboratory here.

Indian renewable sector ranks fourth on the list of the world’s most attractive renewable energy sectors and solar energy is the most abundant source of renewable power in the country.

The Government has set a target of installing 100 GW of solar energy.  By using the swathes of Thar Desert for solar power generation, India is estimated to generate up to 2100 GW of solar energy.

In another initiative of the Government is its National Biofuel Policy, which aims to achieve a 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and a 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel by 2030. The  focus is on the Carbon Capture and Storage and as estimated by Niti Aayog, theoretically, India has a total geological CO2 storage capacity of 400-600 Giga-tonne considering the depleted oil and gas reservoirs, un-mineable coal seams, saline aquifers, and basalts. The experts have designed policies, programmes, and a liberal environment to attract foreign investments to ramp up the country in the renewable energy market at a rapid rate.

The DST is also keen on encouraging international collaborations on clean energy research.  The experts hope that  the process and technologies discussed  will be of enormous potential in mitigating the impact of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in coming days.