Exam View: National Green Hydrogen mission, Hydrogen, Type of Hydrogen, Green Hydrogen Roadmap in India, Importance of National Green Hydrogen Mission, Projects in India, National Green Hydrogen Mission Obstacles.
In News: The Union Cabinet has cleared a ₹17,490-crore National Green Hydrogen (NGH) mission that aims to facilitate the production of hydrogen from renewable energy.
- The National Green Hydrogen mission aims to create an enabling environment for the Indian industry to develop the infrastructure to produce and transport green hydrogen.
- It has committed to finance the manufacturing of electrolysers, which use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. It will also help to reach sustainable climate goals and by 2030, the goal is to have at least 5 million metric tonnes of annual green hydrogen production.
- All concerned Ministries, Departments, agencies, and institutions of the Central and State Governments will undertake focused and coordinated steps to ensure the successful achievement of the Mission objectives. The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy will be responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of the Mission.
- Hydrogen is found in organic compounds, water, petrol, natural gas, propane, and methanol.
- Hydrogen is the lightest and first element on the periodic table. At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a nontoxic, nonmetallic, odourless, tasteless, colourless, and highly combustible diatomic gas.
- Hydrogen fuel is a zero-emission fuel burned with oxygen. It can be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines. It is also used as fuel for spacecraft propulsion.
Type of Hydrogen
Green Hydrogen Roadmap in India
- Due to the favourable geographic conditions, India has a huge advantage in harnessing the power of hydrogen and producing hydrogen.
- The demand for hydrogen is expected to rise by at least 5-fold by 2050. This means by 2050, the
- demand for hydrogen will be around 28 MT due to cost reduction, technological advancements, and initiatives to reduce carbon footprint.
Importance of the Mission
- Capacity to reach 5 MMT: India’s Green Hydrogen production capacity is likely to reach at least 5 MMT per annum, with an associated renewable energy capacity addition of about 125 GW.
- Employment Generation: The targets by 2030 are likely to create over 6 lakh jobs. Nearly 50 MMT per annum of CO2 emissions are expected to be averted by 2030.
- Decarbonization of industrial and energy sectors: Electricity generation in India is majorly dependent on fossil fuels which are non-renewable. If hydrogen can replace fossil fuels and help in energy production, pollution will be reduced to a large extent. Additionally, the import of coal will be reduced as well.
- Reduce the dependence on imports: Proper implementation of the National Hydrogen Mission would lead to clean fuels and reduce the dependence on crude oil imports and fossil fuels.
- Tackle twin energy security problems: Plastic and bio can be converted into hydrogen, and the hydrogen missions would help tackle twin energy security problems and waste management problems.
- Strategic Interventions for the Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT): two distinct financial incentive mechanisms – targeting domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and production of Green Hydrogen – will be provided under the Mission.
- Public-private partnership framework for R&D: It will be facilitated under the Mission and R&D projects will be goal-oriented, time-bound, and suitably scaled up to develop globally competitive technologies.
- A coordinated skill development programme will also be undertaken under the Mission.
National Green Hydrogen Mission Obstacles
- Economic sustainability: One of the major challenges for using hydrogen commercially is the economic sustainability of extracting green hydrogen.
- Fuelling Infrastructure: A big barrier to the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles has been a lack of fuelling station infrastructure (only 500 in the world & that too in Europe, Japan, and South Korea)
- Safety is seen as a concern: Hydrogen is pressurised and stored in a cryogenic tank, and from there it is fed to a lower-pressure cell and put through an electrochemical reaction to generate electricity.
- Expensive technology: The technology used for the production and use of hydrogen is at the nascent stage and expensive as well, which again leads to the high cost of hydrogen production.
- High maintenance costs: Maintenance costs for fuel cells post-completion of a plant can be costly.
- Scaling up the technology: The commercial usage of hydrogen as a fuel and in industries requires mammoth investment in R&D of such technology and infrastructure for production, storage, transportation, and demand creation for hydrogen.
Green hydrogen, because of the entailed expenses, currently accounts for less than 1% of global hydrogen production and India’s aim is to become a global, industrial hub and exporter of such hydrogen. While this is a worthy ambition, India’s track record in becoming a high-technology manufacturing hub raises doubts on whether this is achievable by 2030.
For India to realise its ambitions, it must strengthen its small manufacturing and allied enterprises infrastructure which, rather than large industries, will be the mainstay of any green economy.
At this juncture, with a calibrated approach, India can uniquely position itself to take advantage of increasing investment in R&D, capacity building, compatible legislation, and the opportunity for the creation of demand among its vast population. Such initiatives can propel India to become the most favoured nation by exporting hydrogen to its neighbours and beyond.