Days after India unveiled a national hydrogen mission to accelerate plans to generate the carbon-free fuel from renewables, state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Thursday signed a pact with Greenstat Norway for setting up a Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen.
In the Union Budget for 2021-22, the government pledged to focus on generating hydrogen from green power sources as well as build more diverse and efficient energy infrastructure.
"This association aims to develop a Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen (CoE-H) including CCUS and Fuel Cells by IndianOil and M/s Greenstat for clean energy in cooperation with Indo-Norwegian Hydrogen Cluster companies/organizations," IOC said in a statement.
The CoE-H will facilitate the 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.
The CoE-H will be a vehicle for promoting R&D projects in Green and Blue Hydrogen between Norwegian and Indian R&D institutions/universities.
"Working closely with industry and governments on both sides, CoE-H will be levering its intellectual strengths in developing cost-efficient and scalable and sustainable technological solutions. The CoE will also pilot fuel cell research," it said.
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 IOC 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, the statement said.
Speaking on the occasion, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan talked about the importance government is giving to the exploration of new and emerging forms of energy.
India, he said, 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 a win-win for all. Speaking about hydrogen energy, Pradhan said, "We see hydrogen as the future energy."
He also expressed happiness at the encouraging results being shown by the pilot project under which 50 buses in Delhi are running on hydrogen-CNG fuel.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador of Norway to India Hans Jacob Frydenlund 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. He also expressed happiness at the signing of the statement of intent.
A pilot project for blending hydrogen with compressed natural gas for use as a transportation fuel is running at Rajghat Bus depot in Delhi.
Under this pilot, 50 buses in Delhi are plying on blended Hydrogen in Compressed Natural Gas and results are extremely encouraging, the statement added.