Government Invites Bids to Establish Hydrogen Valley Innovation Clusters

The last date to submit the EoIs is May 4, 2023


The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has invited bids to establish Hydrogen Valley Innovation Clusters (HVICs) in the country.

A hydrogen valley is a specific geographical region where hydrogen is utilized for multiple applications across different sectors, such as industry, energy, and mobility.

It is a designated area where the use of hydrogen technology is encouraged and promoted to drive the adoption of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy source.

The last date to submit the bids is May 4, 2023. The evaluation and selection of the bidders are scheduled during the same month.

Funding will be allocated to selected bids to prepare a detailed project report (DPR).

The initiative is part of The National Green Hydrogen Mission, approved by the Union Cabinet in January 2023, to promote hydrogen energy technology development in India.

The DST will provide financial assistance of ₹2.5 million (~$30,426) for the development of the DPR, which will outline the specifics of the proposed Hydrogen Valley Innovation Clusters (HVICs).

The funding is aimed at supporting the shortlisted bids in conducting a thorough evaluation of the technical, financial, and environmental aspects of the HVIC project.

Proposed HVICs will focus on producing up to 500 tons of green hydrogen per year using proven technology routes. The initial demonstration period will span five years, from 2024 to 2028, during which each HVIC will aim to scale up to a commercial level.

The invitation for proposals has identified two categories of small-scale HVICs that are eligible for funding.

The first type is a city or town-wide hydrogen valley, covering an area of approximately 100 km radius and encompassing various parts of the hydrogen value chain.

The second type of small-scale HVIC eligible for funding is a campus-wide hydrogen valley, in which the hydrogen value chain is contained within the area of an R&D institution or an industrial establishment.

In this case, a consortium may aim to demonstrate the production, storage, transportation, and consumption of green hydrogen within the premises of a company or R&D institution.

The setup allows for the demonstration of green hydrogen technology in a controlled environment, enabling the consortium to optimize and fine-tune the processes before scaling up to a commercial level.

The projects selected for funding will be announced in August 2023, and project initiation and company formation are expected to begin in October 2023, as per the invitation.

The lead organization hosting the Hydrogen Valley Innovation Cluster should have the ability to connect with various stakeholders to translate the research outputs for practical applications.

Proposals will be evaluated and scored against selection and award criteria – excellence, impact, and quality and efficiency of implementation.

DST currently has allocated up to ₹300 million (~$3.6 million), or 50% of the total HVIC cost, whichever is lower, based on the justified needs of the project.

The funding is intended to cover the total cost of running the HVIC for five years, from 2024 to 2028.

The DST under the Ministry will play a crucial role and, as the central agency, will oversee and fund the research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities.

This will be vital for small-scale demonstrations, thereby boosting the readiness of technologies in the green hydrogen value chain.

Each HVIC will be a public-private partnership-driven project, with both public and private sector partners playing a crucial role. The government is encouraging industry partners to contribute towards the funding of the HVIC, particularly in their specific areas of expertise in the hydrogen value chain.

Such contributions from industry partners are expected to add value to the project and promote the development of green hydrogen technologies in India.

Recently, the Union Minister of Renewable Energy and Power R. K. Singh informed the Rajya Sabha that the government aims to reduce a total of ₹1 trillion (~$12 billion) worth of fossil fuel imports by 2030, following the targets set under the National Green Hydrogen mission.

Mercom India will bring together industry experts to discuss the criticality of green hydrogen in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors at the ‘Mercom India Renewables Summit 2023,’ an exclusive event on April 26-27 in New Delhi.

At a session titled ‘Green Hydrogen – The Critical Piece in the Decarbonization Puzzle‘ scheduled for April 26, 2023, panelists will discuss the challenges for India to emerge as a significant hub in producing this clean fuel.