Energy Forum of Vidarbha Industries Association organized a session on â€œEnergy Transition / Electric Mobility / Hydrogen Economyâ€ on 22nd Feb at VIA Hall.
CMA Chandrashekhar Chincholkar said Energy Transition from fossil to renewable energy is going to be the next big challenge for humanity. The transition needs to happen for both the Mobility and Manufacturing sector. The mobility sector will need to have 100% renewable fuels like Hydrogen or energy storage in the form of batteries.
World currently has 12,000 vehicles running on Hydrogen as a fuel and the current ongoing winter Olympics in China is the live example for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles where both Cars and Buses are running on Hydrogen. Manufacturing sector which uses coal for various energy sources is also looking at complete decarbonization in the coming decades. This will mean shifting from Coal to other sources of renewable energy like Hydrogen. The current costs of Green Hydrogen are in the range of $ 5-6 per Kg. Big Corporations have taken up the mandate to produce Hydrogen through renewable routes at less than $ 2 per Kg in a decadeâ€™s time.
Generation of Hydrogen from Biomass is the next opportunity. There are technologies for generation of Green Hydrogen using Electrolysers (using renewable power), Conversion of Biomass into Hydrogen through the Microbial and Gasification route. Such technologies are important for India as India has large requirements for power and fuel. Clean Technologies to generate renewable sources of energy is the real need of the hour. Innovation is important for the emergence of Clean Technologies and hence start ups can play a big role in innovation.
India is moving ahead with Electric Mobility using batteries as a source of Energy. The current batteries used for Four Wheelers are Lithium-Ion Batteries. Lithium as a source of energy with very high energy density is currently a very scarce raw material and the prices of lithium have increased by 35-40% in the last six months. The incremental penetration of Electric Vehicles will mean large requirements for Lithium and Cobalt, and this might lead to sustainable raw material supply and pricing issues. To have a stable chemistry for batteries, it is important to have alternative battery chemistries like sodium-ion. Availability of sodium salt is abundant in India, and it has stable pricing.
Battery Electric Vehicle is suitable for daily run of 200-225 kms within the city limits. For long distance intercity travel of 400 Kms plus on daily basis, the Fuel Cell Buses and trucks will be the right solution at reasonable cost of Hydrogen per Kg. The GOI is supporting Battery electric Buses adoption through FAME II subsidy and Fuel Cell vehicles is likely to be supported through incentives soon. Both BEVs and FCEVs will become competitive with diesel at reasonable volume levels.
During Q&A session, the speaker aptly replied to all the queries of the audience and appreciated the initiative taken by VIA.
Initiating the presentation, Prashant Mohota, Chairman of Energy Forum welcomed the guest speaker and in his welcome address said World is heading towards a Green Energy Transition. We have witnessed the impact of Coal Shortages. COP 26 has just concluded in Nov 2021 at Glasgow. World needs to move towards temperature control and look at Green sources of Energy and Transportation. Looking at this scenario, it is important to understand the scenario of Energy Transition, Electric Mobility and the likely size of the Hydrogen Economy in the coming decades. Also proposed a formal vote of thanks.
Prominently present were Prafull Doshi, Past President â€“ VIA, Girdhari Mantri, Chairman â€“ CSR Forum, J F Salve, Pradeep Maheshwari, Vaibhav Agrawal and many representatives from industries and professionals.