Current Affairs 2023
India's National Green Hydrogen Mission is a government initiative to increase the production and use of green hydrogen as a clean energy source. The mission aims to produce 18 GW of green hydrogen by 2030 through investments of over INR 8 trillion and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 50 million tons. Incentives for green hydrogen production and electrolyzer manufacturing, as well as pilot projects and research and development, are being funded through the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT) with INR 19,744 crore in total. The government is also considering waiving import duties on electrolyzers to encourage investment in green hydrogen production.
Jan 09, 2023
3 min read
As the world faces a major energy crisis and the reality of climate change becomes more pressing, green hydrogen has become a hot topic globally. Hydrogen is the most plentiful element in the universe, but pure hydrogen is rare and typically found in compounds like water (H2O). However, when electric current is passed through water, it can be split into hydrogen and oxygen through a process called electrolysis. If the electricity used for this process comes from renewable sources like solar or wind power, the resulting hydrogen is known as green hydrogen. The color attached to hydrogen refers to the source of electricity used to produce the hydrogen molecule - for example, if coal is used, the resulting hydrogen is called brown hydrogen.
So, why is green hydrogen so important? It is an excellent source of energy due to its high energy content per unit of weight, which is why it is used as rocket fuel. Green hydrogen, in particular, is one of the cleanest sources of energy with almost zero emissions. It can be used in fuel cells for vehicles or in energy-intensive industries like fertilizers and steel production.
Countries around the world are working to increase their green hydrogen capacity as it can provide energy security and help reduce carbon emissions. India's National Green Hydrogen Mission aims to develop a green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 million tons per year with associated renewable energy capacity of around 125 GW by 2030. This will require over INR 8 trillion in total investments and is expected to create 600,000 jobs, reduce fossil fuel imports by over INR 1 trillion, and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 50 million tons.
To encourage investment in the sector, the Indian government has announced INR 19,744 crore in funding, with INR 17,490 crore going towards incentives for green hydrogen production and electrolyzer manufacturing through a program called the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT). INR 1,466 crore will be allocated to pilot projects, INR 400 crore to research and development, and INR 388 crore to other mission components. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will develop guidelines for implementing these components. Additionally, the government is considering waiving import duties on electrolyzers for a short period to encourage green hydrogen production. Most of the INR 17,490 crore in incentives will be provided through production-linked incentive schemes.
More on iasindepth