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2 November 2022

Trend emerges in Asia after $2.8bn Indian investment in hydrogen

Jakson Green, a subdivision of the infrastructure and renewables major Jakson Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Rajasthan, an Indian state, to invest about $2.8 billion in order to set up a green hydrogen and green ammonia project in phases over the 2023-2028 period.

The details of the MoU, signed by Vish Iyer – Global Chief Commercial Officer at Jakson Green – and Shri Bhaskar Sawant – Principal Secretary of Energy to the Government of Rajasthan – include a key figure of 365,000 tons of green hydrogen and green ammonia per annum alongside an integrated solar, wind and storage renewable power complex, all located in the north-western state of Rajasthan. And this isn’t a random choice.

Rajasthan is the largest state in India but only the seventh most populated because it is mostly covered by the Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert. The state also sees the highest solar irradiance out of all the regions in India with values reaching as high as 2000 kW/m2. Since 2018 Rajasthan has housed the Bhadla Solar Park which is currently the largest solar farm in the world with a capacity of about 2.2GW and planned expansions to 3.5GW.

The state also benefits from wind resources. The Jaisalmer wind farm is India’s second largest and globally the fourth largest onshore wind farm capable of outputting just over 1GW.

As part of the agreement, the Government of Rajasthan would facilitate Jakson Green in obtaining necessary registrations, approvals, clearances, and provide incentives, among other things.

Jakson Green has recently announced its global ambitions to be a leading developer and integrator of green hydrogen and green ammonia assets across select locations and is eyeing the independent hydrogen and ammonia production and electrolyzer manufacturing markets. The firm is actively developing a pipeline of renewable energy, green hydrogen and green ammonia projects, both in India and abroad.

This deal falls perfectly in line with the ambition that the country, as a whole, poses. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, announced the Atmanirbhar Baharat Abhiiyaan or the Self-reliant India campaign, which aims to build a sustainable future for the country with energy being one of the aspects touched upon. The campaign will be allocated 10% of the GDP – roughly $240 billion.

The Jakson Green news comes soon after Rethink reported that Singapore and Oman have publicly revealed their targets for hydrogen production and usage in an attempt to decarbonize. The former plans for hydrogen to account for up to half of its energy demand by 2050 – this would represent 25 TWh in the present day – while the latter aims to generate 8 million tons of green hydrogen per year from 100GW of electrolyzer power capacity backed up by 180GW of renewables. More on those announcements can be accessed here.

But a trend is now emerging over the Asian continent with more and more nations shifting towards hydrogen for both usage and exports. Kazakhstan is the latest to have jumped ship to the sustainable energy carrier. As reported over a year ago by Rethink, Kazakhstan was eyeing a 45GW green hydrogen power plant. This week, an investment agreement has been signed by the CEO of Svevind Energy and the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, which has set in stone the final details of the deal, with a final investment decision expected in 2026.

The project will involve building and operating a desalination plant with a capacity of 255,000 cubic meters per day and a 40GW renewable energy station based on wind and solar farms, all to power a 20GW electrolyzer facility to produce 2 million tons of green hydrogen each year that will be used for both domestic consumption and export.

Upon completion in 2032, the wind and solar based renewable project will be one of the largest in the world, costing between $40 billion and $50 billion.