With a chequered history of success and a name that consumers best associate with two-wheelers, many would struggle to place Hero Future Energies Pvt Ltd (HFE). Despite being in the renewables business since 2012, HFE, which has dabbled in both wind and solar energy, hasn’t had much success with either segment. For the last three years, the company has been loss-making.
Now, HFE is hurrying to the front of the queue in another fast-growing renewables segment—green hydrogen. In January 2021, HFE appointed Srivatsan Iyer, who has considerable experience in the petrochem and oil and gas sectors, as a new CEO in an effort to turn around its fortunes. And three months ago, the company signed signed PR Newswire Hero Future Energies and Ohmium International announce Strategic Partnership for 1000 MW of Green Hydrogen Read more a 1 gigawatt (GW) green hydrogen production deal with US-based electrolyser electrolyser electrolyser The electrolyser is an apparatus that produces hydrogen through a chemical process (electrolysis) capable of separating the hydrogen and oxygen molecules of which water is composed using electricity. manufacturing startup Ohmium International.
Green hydrogen is the cleanest of all hydrogen fuels, made by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen through a process called electrolysis. But it is also the most expensive and energy intensive to make. “It takes about 4GW of solar power to work 1GW of electrolysers,” says Anuraag Nallapaneni, a senior program associate for hydrogen at sustainability-focussed research organisation WRI India.
- Green Hydrogen Produced from a zero-emission energy source
- Blue Hydrogen Produced from natural gas, with the CO ₂ emissions captured or sequestered
- Grey hydrogen Produced from natural gas
Under the deal, HFE, with its years of experience in solar power, will provide the electricity needed to power Ohmium’s 500MW electrolyser-manufacturing plant in the south Indian city of Bengaluru.
HFE and Ohmium’s sprint to the altar is indicative of India’s larger ambitions with green hydrogen. The country is one of the largest consumers of hydrogen in the world, accounting for almost 10% of the total global hydrogen demand. And having missed the bus on solar manufacturing—it still imports 90% of solar cells from China—policy announcements are coming thick and fast.
In February, the government unveiled unveiled Ministry of Power Notification Read more a Green Hydrogen Policy. It’s aimed at boosting the domestic production of green hydrogen to 5 million metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) by 2030 and making India an export hub for the energy source.