Green hydrogen push by India

Why in news

Recently, the government approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission with the aim of making India a global green hydrogen production hub. The budget allotted for this is Rs 19,744 crore. 

Aim of the mission

  • The goal is to develop export opportunities for green hydrogen and its derivatives, which are the decarbonization of the energy sector and the use of mobile applications to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels. 
  • Develop indigenous manufacturing capabilities.
  • Fuel key economic sectors will use hydrogen ( produced by splitting water through an electrical process known as electrolysis using a device known as an electrolyzer). The device is powered only by renewable energy.
  • To make it commercially viable with a production cost under Rs 100 per kg.

When the mission started

  • It was first mentioned by the prime minister in his speech on August 15, 2021. 
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is developing guidance for a mission to
    •  facilitate the development of a green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 million tons per year (MMT),
    • Addition of about 125 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030.

Hydrogen- as fuel

  • It is a clean molecule that exists only in combination with other elements
  • It needs to be extracted from naturally occurring compounds, for instance, water. The process of extraction is energy-intensive. 
  • Prior to the 1970s, the potential of hydrogen as a clean fuel was not seriously considered; however, following the oil price shock of the 1970s, the possibility of hydrogen replacing fossil fuels was considered. 
  • Since then, three famous car-producing companies—Japan’s Toyota and Honda and South Korea’s Hyundai—have moved toward the commercialization of the technology on a small scale.
  • There are types of hydrogen derived by categorizing the color tab:
    • Hydrogen extracted and produced by using fossil fuels is termed "grey hydrogen."  
    • Hydrogen, which is produced using fossil fuels by carbon capture with storage options, is called “blue hydrogen.” 
    • Hydrogen which is generated by using electricity and water is known as “green hydrogen”.

The benefits of green hydrogen

    • It is a clean-burning molecule that can decarbonize (reduce the use of fossil fuels that generate carbon dioxide emissions in the environment) in sectors such as iron, steel, chemicals, and transportation. 
    • The cost of green hydrogen is not feasible yet and to make it affordable the cost of electrolyzers, the government is using measures such as subsidy support, and R&D (research and development). It will be used for exporting also. 
    • In the future green hydrogen would be able to replace fossil fuels and feedback based on it like fertilizer production, petroleum refining, steel production, and transport application which will further create job opportunities
    • To achieve the reduction of import of fossil fuel and greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, two mechanisms are taken into consideration 
      • Targeting the domestic manufacturing of electrolyzers, and


  • Production of green hydrogen


Use of green hydrogen in India

  • As we all know, electricity generation in India is based on coal (electricity is generated by burning coal), so it negates the benefits gained from the shift toward EVs (electric vehicles). 
  • It is known that hydrogen vehicles would be effective in electrifying sectors such as shipping, air travel, and long-haul transportation. 
  • The use of heavy batteries will reduce the productivity of hydrogen-powered vehicles, particularly in countries like India, where the electricity grid is entirely reliant on coal. 
  • In 2022, Oil India Limited invested in India’s first green hydrogen plant in Jorhat. 
  • In the mission, the steel sector, one of the stakeholders, will set up pilot plants with the help of the government to partly replace the natural gases with green hydrogen in DRI (direct reduced iron) plants. 
  • Kerala has also set up the Hydrogen Economy Mission to make the state a “green hydrogen hub."
  •  US-based Ohmium International has invested in India’s first green hydrogen factory in Karnataka. 


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