Review: “Fossil Free” explores clean energy transition and India’s prospects in Green Hydrogen


A Book “Fossil Free written by Sumant Sinha, Founder, Chairman and CEO, ReNew

With your book Fossil Free being released in 2020, what compelled you to release an updated version?

Fossil Free, published in 2020, offered the readers a complete and comprehensive view of the Indian and the global renewable energy sector, climate change and the challenges faced by the planet owing to our dependence on fossil fuels. It detailed the complexities and realities of the energy industry.

In its current avatar, the book has been thoughtfully revised to include thesignificant changes and advancements that have occurred since 2020 in the renewable energyspace, providing up-to-date insights into this rapidly evolving field. The inclusion of a new chapterdedicated to green hydrogen underscores the promising new opportunities in the energy transition landscape.

The book is a way to keep the industry and the people updated on how the renewable energy landscape is ever-evolving, and the tools and technology available to us in the renewable energy space to combat climate change and its adverse effects.

It is noteworthy that the book’s popularity has soared, leading it to become a bestseller. In order to reach a broader audience and facilitate wider accessibility, the updated book will also be translated into Hindi and Gujarati to make this resource available to an even larger readership.

What would you like to say to your readers who are reading the updated version of the book?

To the readers, we wish to convey and highlight the nuances of the evolving landscape of renewable energy. The projections in the book indicate that hydrogen could comprise around 10- 15% of the global energy mix by 2050, aligning with global climate objectives. It’s crucial to recognize that a global race has begun among nations to gain a competitive edge in this transformative journey, with the rules of engagement being shaped as we speak.

In India, this development holds immense importance, offering an opportunity to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Currently, India imports nearly $150 billion worth of fossil fuels annually, a figure expected to double in the next seven to ten years.

Acknowledging the significance of this shift, the Indian government has taken steps in the right direction, by introducing the National Hydrogen Mission with an allocation of nearly Rs 20,000 crores. Private sector entities are also actively participating. However, it’s essential to understand that this transition is still in its nascent stages.

Therefore, we have included this critical topic in the book, as it will undoubtedly be an integral part of India’s transition journey over the next century.We encourage you to delve into this updated version to stay informed and engaged in this transformative process.

Fossil Free extensively captures India’s role in energy transition and combating climate adversaries. How do you see India’s energy transition journey moving forward?

India, currently the world’s fastest-growing major economy with a growth rate ranging from 6.5% to 7%, is poised for significant shifts in its renewable energy sector over the next three to five years, as discussed in our book. Firstly, India is on the cusp of becoming a global supplier and exporter, thanks to government incentives like the PLI scheme, fostering a robust manufacturing ecosystem.

This growth will encompass components for solar power, batteries, electric vehicles, green hydrogen, and more, aligning with the global trend of diversifying supply chains and creating substantial export opportunities. Second, renewable energy will increasingly be available round-the-clock driven by storage solutions utilizing batteries and other methods, thereby fostering wider adoption.

Lastly, green hydrogen will play a pivotal role in decarbonizing various segments of the energy value chain, including the corporate sector. Expect to witness pilot-scale plants established by renewable energy companies in India and abroad, with a focus on achieving economies of scale through larger installations. All these concurrent developments hold immense promise for India’s energy future.

The new chapter focuses on alternative energy sources. How do you picture India’s future with green energy and what should the sector expect?

India is poised for a significant $19 billion hydrogen market by 2030, spanning various sectors such as telecom, heavy trucks, city gas distribution, refining, fertilizing, steel, and cement, as stated in a report by Morgan Stanely. Government mandates on using 25% hydrogen in refining and fertilizer industries are set to create a $6.9 billion to $7.3 billion market.

The green hydrogen market is anticipated to witness remarkable price reductions, from $10 per kg to $2 per kg by 2030. To meet the demands, robust storage solutions are crucial, with hydrogen emerging as an excellent choice, especially for long-term storage, thanks to its high energy density, cost-effectiveness, and compatibility with existing energy networks.

Notably, major expansion plans are in motion at ReNew and other key industry players. However, governments also bear the responsibility of establishing legal and policy frameworks that foster investment in the green hydrogen supply chain.

Additionally, there’s a pressing need for mechanisms to verify and certify the fuel’s origin, alongside establishing an internationally accepted definition of green hydrogen&. Lastly, facilitating workforce development is paramount, especially in alignment with the Just Transition agenda, to equip workers with the necessary skills for this evolving landscape.

In the context of ongoing geopolitical unrest felt globally, how do you think India is faring out?

Amid the unsettling backdrop of Russia-Ukraine tensions and international sanctions, global businesses did face challenges in trade and operations, especially in the energy space. Nevertheless, the Indian economy demonstrated remarkable resilience, exhibiting robust growth as confirmed by the finance ministry during its annual review in July 2023.

Despite internal hurdles like stock market fluctuations and inflation, India stood out favorably in comparison to global economies, earning recognition from both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a bright spot.

The economy registered an impressive growth rate of 7.8% for FYQ124, outpacing regional peers, owing to increased government capex expenditure, improved consumption patterns, and a favorable beginning.

How would you say ReNew is contributing to India’s decarbonisation goals?

ReNew has consistently displayed a forward-thinking approach, recognizing early opportunities that have paved the way for substantial progress in areas such as renewable capacity expansion, development of green hydrogen in India and understanding the business
potential in off-shore wind.

Our achievements are exemplified through a diverse range of solutions, spanning round-the-clock power, virtual power purchase agreements, green hydrogen/ammonia, solar modules, carbon credits, and digital services.

Additionally, our client base has undergone diversification, with corporate PPAs driving significant growth, solidified by high-profile agreements with industry leaders like Amazon, Microsoft, and Jindal Stainless.

The unwavering interest of major industry players in partnering with us has resulted in recent collaborations with entities such as Gentari, Mitsui, Norfund, IOCL+L&T, and Fluence. Furthermore, our capacity to efficiently execute large projects and organically expand remains a pivotal differentiator for ReNew’s continued success.

A comprehensive article on “The Power of Green Energy – Harnessing the Benefits of Air Source Heat Pump, Solar, and Battery SystemsYou can check it out here:


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