National Green Hydrogen Mission

National Green Hydrogen Mission

News: Union Cabinet has approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission, which is aimed at making India the global hub for the production of green hydrogen. 

• A mission outlay of Rs 19,744 crore was cleared by the Union Cabinet, aimed at the creation of export opportunities for green hydrogen and its derivatives; decarbonisation of the energy sector and use in mobility applications in a bid to lower the dependence on imported fossil fuels; and the development of indigenous manufacturing capacities.
• The ultimate aim is to fuel key sectors of the economy using hydrogen that is made by splitting water through an electrical process called electrolysis, using a device called electrolyser that is powered entirely by renewable energy. 

Hydrogen as a fuel:
• Hydrogen, the most common element in nature, exists only in combination with other elements, and has to be extracted from naturally occurring compounds like water. Hydrogen is a clean molecule, but the process of extracting it is energy intensive. 
• The sources and processes by which hydrogen is derived are categorised by colour tabs. 
• Hydrogen produced from fossil fuels is called grey hydrogen, which constitutes the bulk of the hydrogen generated today. 
• Hydrogen generated from fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage options is called blue hydrogen.
• While hydrogen generated using electrolysers powered by renewable power sources is called green hydrogen. 

What are the objectives of the mission?
• Developing green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 MMT (Million Metric Tonne) per annum, alongside adding renewable energy capacity of about 125 GW (gigawatt) in India by 2030.
• It aims to entail over Rs 8 lakh crore of total investments and is expected to generate six lakh jobs.
• It will also lead to a cumulative reduction in fossil fuel imports by over Rs 1 lakh crore and an abatement of nearly 50 MT of annual greenhouse gas emissions. 
• Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will be the nodal ministry.

What are the components of the Mission?
• Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT) -  under this, two financial incentive mechanisms have been created - Targeting domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and Production of green hydrogen. 
• Strategic Hydrogen Innovation Partnership (SHIP) - Under this Public-private partnership framework for R&D will be facilitated under the mission.
• Regions capable of supporting large-scale production and/or utilization of hydrogen will be identified and developed as Green Hydrogen Hubs. 
• To provide a major push for hydrogen in the auto sector — R&D for fuel cell development and pilot projects for fuel cell vehicles. 

What is the potential of Green Hydrogen?
• It is a clean burning molecule that can decarbonise a range of sectors including iron and steel, chemicals, and transportation. 
• Renewable energy that cannot be stored or used by the grid can be channeled to produce hydrogen. 
• India has a favorable geographic location and abundance of sunlight and wind for the production of green hydrogen.
• It will reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock. 
• It will help create employment opportunities, promote use of cutting-edge technologies and will lead to development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities. 
• It will help create an export market for high-value green products. 

What are the challenges? 
• Green hydrogen is not commercially viable at present. The current cost in India is around Rs 350-400 per kg; it is likely to become viable only at a production cost of under Rs 100/ kg. 
• The industry itself is at a nascent stage. India has the opportunity to take the lead but we don’t have required infrastructure yet. 
• One of the biggest challenges faced by the industry for using hydrogen commercially is the economic sustainability of extracting green hydrogen. 

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