State-run oil marketing company Indian Oil (IOCL) is gearing up to be future ready, and in fact looking at various future energy needs be it electric vehicle charging and battery swapping, aluminium-air batteries, or the latest being hydrogen fuel cell.
IOCL recently signed a statement of intent with Greenstat Hydrogen India, a subsidiary of Greenstate Norway for setting up a Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen. This association aims to develop a Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen (CoE-H) including CCUS and Fuel Cells by Indian Oil and Greenstat for clean energy in cooperation with Indo-Norwegian Hydrogen Cluster companies/organisations.
The CoE-H will facilitate transfer and sharing of technology, know-how and experience through the green hydrogen value chain and other relevant technologies including hydrogen storage and fuel cells. It will be a vehicle for promoting R&D projects in green and blue hydrogen between Norwegian and Indian R&D institutions/universities. It will work closely with industry and governments on both sides and leverage its intellectual strengths in developing cost-efficient and scalable and sustainable technological solutions.
The CoE will also pilot fuel cell research. The institute will also act as a think-tank towards developing codes and standards for best industrial practices, safety, product protocols and regulations in the area of hydrogen and fuel cells. The partnership between IndianOil and Greenstat will actively assist partners/stakeholders to develop business models based upon feasibility studies besides facilitating consultancies to industry, utilities and regulators on hydrogen storage, hydrogen production, refueling stations, fuel cells and CCUS technologies.
Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel spoke about the importance the government of India is according to the exploration of new and emerging forms of energy. Commenting on India's energy consumption, he said that India is the third-largest energy consumer with growing energy demand, making it the place to be, for any energy entrepreneur in any part of the globe. He called for greater synergy between science, technology and entrepreneurship to create win-win for all.
Pradhan said, "We see hydrogen as the future energy." He expressed happiness at the encouraging results being shown by the pilot project under which 50 buses in Delhi are running on hydrogen-CNG fuel. "Despite India not being a polluting country, India is committed to reducing its emissions and contributing to the global fight against climate change, in line with the Prime Minister's commitment at the COP21", he further added.
Hans Jacob Frydenlund, Ambassador of Norway to India said that in the efforts to combat global climate change, use of green and renewable energy is paramount. He talked about Norway's strength and experience in green energy and expressed willingness to work together with India in the area of hydrogen energy.
A pilot project for blending hydrogen with compressed natural gas for use as transportation fuel is underway at Rajghat Bus depot in Delhi. Under this pilot, 50 buses in Delhi are plying on blended hydrogen in Compressed Natural Gas and result are extremely encouraging.