Funding important to make decarbonisation affordable: Ruia

By PTI February 09, 2023

Speaking at the India Energy Week, the director of Essar Capital said that funding is important to make decarbonisation affordable: Ruia

Funding important to make decarbonisation affordable: Ruia
India has an ambitious target of 5 million tonnes of hydrogen capacity by 2030. DepositPhotos

As countries chart out decarbonisation plans, an Essar group executive said funding for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and improving technologies was essential to make it affordable.

"The single biggest opportunity for us is to transition and decarbonise existing infrastructure, and simultaneously build future-centric clean fuel capacities," said Prashant Ruia, Director, Essar Capital.

He was speaking at a leadership panel at the India Energy Week on transitioning to a low-carbon energy mix.

With the world's focus on energy transition and decarbonisation, technology improvements will be faster, he said. "We are already seeing evolving trends in solar and wind power, and expect similar progress for hydrogen, making it more affordable and accessible."

Decarbonisation is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through the use of low-carbon power sources, achieving a lower output of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

Ruia said the government is playing a key role in this transition.

"I do believe we now have requisite policy initiatives all around the world and are providing a supportive infrastructure," he said. "It would be important to be able to finance and fund some of these expensive solutions and in improving technologies so that the cost of these decarbonisation and future fuels come down..."

The recent announcement of a hydrogen policy has positioned the fuel with zero emission as the nation's future fuel. India has an ambitious target of 5 million tonnes of hydrogen capacity by 2030, he said.

"Building and manufacturing hydrogen in India is possible at competitive costs due to abundant renewable power. But one must also focus on building consumption to ensure sustainable operations," he said.

Ruia said it is not easy to replace all of the existing infrastructure with blue or green technology -- it is something that will take a lot of time.

"Technology is something that is evolving in this pace, something which is moving very fast but with the world focus on energy transition and decarbonisation, the improvement in the technologies will be very quick and rapid as we have seen already in solar and wind power supply and we have to see the same in hydrogen, the cost of hydrogen and all of these areas but in the next few years we will see rapid progress."

Essar, he said, is buying a blue hydrogen project in the UK and planning a green ammonia project in India.

While projects have been announced, consumption of hydrogen too has to be in place.

Refineries, steel plants and fertiliser units are some of the big consumers where hydrogen can replace polluting fuels but "we have to address the question around how we are going to get prices at a level which is negotiable," he said.

The focus in India currently is on exporting ammonia as opposed to trying to sell domestically but in the next few years the domestic market for hydrogen is going to grow significantly.

"In India we are in abundance of talent. We are going to be the providers of talent," he said.