The Union Cabinet on January 4 approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission, which is aimed at making India the global hub for the production of green hydrogen. The goal at the end is to use hydrogen to fuel important economic sectors. But what exactly is GH2? Here are some of the frequently asked questions we tried answering.
In a bid to promote green hydrogen (GH2) in India to help cut emissions and become a major exporter in the field, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved an initial outlay of Rs 19,744 crore for the National Hydrogen Mission.
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Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur said that the country aims for annual production of 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030, cutting about 50 million tonnes of carbon emissions and saving Rs 1 trillion on fossil fuel imports.
With the mission, the end goal is to use hydrogen to fuel all important economic sectors. But what exactly is GH2? Here are some of the frequently asked questions that we try to answer:
What is Green Hydrogen?
Green hydrogen is a type of hydrogen that is produced using renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, to split water into hydrogen and oxygen through the process of electrolysis. The production of green hydrogen does not produce any greenhouse gases, making it a clean and renewable energy source.
What are its uses?
From transportation (used in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), which use a fuel cell to convert the chemical energy of hydrogen into electricity to power the vehicle) to electricity generation and industrial processes (GH2 can be used to power industrial processes, such as steel and cement production, which are currently reliant on fossil fuels), green hydrogen can play a major role in transitioning to low-carbon energy system.
Impact on environment
The process of producing green hydrogen does not produce greenhouse gases or other harmful emissions, making it a clean and environmentally friendly source of energy.
Hydrogen is versatile and hence can be used in a wide range of applications, including electricity generation, transportation, and heating. It also has a high energy density, meaning that it contains a large amount of energy in a small volume. This makes it an efficient way to store and transport energy. Hydrogen gas does not degrade over time, so it can be stored and transported for long periods without losing its energy potential.
GH2 remains highly expensive, almost 1.5x compared to grey hydrogen produced using natural gas due to high cost of generating solar/wind energy as well as high electrolyser cost. Presently, a hybrid of solar and wind remains the cheapest source of generating GH2. The cost for solar remains the highest due to low plant load factor of electrolysers at ~30-35 percent vs. wind 65-70 percent and for hybrid ~70-75 percent. The Hydrogen Energy Mission aims to lower costs of renewable power generation and to bring down the costs of electrolysers to make the production of green hydrogen cost-competitive.
What is India's current plan?
India’s hydrogen energy mission was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech in 2021. The Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, RK Singh, on Thursday said that green hydrogen could eventually potentially replace fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based feedstocks in fertiliser production, petroleum refining, and will help decarbonise steel, mobility, shipping and cement sectors, said . Singh also said that India doesn't expect import of electrolysers but rather wants them to be produced here. The minister also said that trains will be developed to run on hydrogen, focusing on Green Hydrogen use for road transport first.
Indian companies on the green move
Companies such as Reliance Industries, NTPC, Adani Enterprises, Indian Oil, Acme Solar, JSW Energy have big plans for green hydrogen.
First Published: Jan 5, 2023 9:18 PM IST
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