National Green Hydrogen Mission: With the aim of becoming a developed nation by 2047, India is engaged in implementing the policies related to every sector. The goal of becoming self-sufficient in the field of energy is also a part of this and through this the target of Net Zero is also to be achieved by 2070.
The National Green Hydrogen Mission is going to play a major role in making India self-sufficient by 2047 in the field of energy. Under this mission, India is taking rapid steps. Under the National Green Hydrogen Mission, all major ports of the country will have green hydrogen/ammonia bunkers and refueling facilities by 2035. Refueling facilities are being set up at these ports under the mission.
This information was given by the Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal at ‘India Calling Conference 2023’ on 29 April in Mumbai. He informed that infrastructure is being developed for setting up hydrogen bunkering at Deendayal, Paradip and V O Chidambaranar ports. This is a big target under the National Green Hydrogen Mission.
Refueling at all major ports by 2035
Earlier in March, it was informed by the government that Kandla and Tuticorin ports would be India’s first green hydrogen and green ammonia refueling centers for green shipping. One port on the west coast and the other on the east coast were selected for the refueling port. Among these is Kandla Port located in Kutch district of Gujarat on the west coast, while Tuticorin port in Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu on the east coast. The government is now moving ahead with a target of setting up green hydrogen and green ammonia refueling centers at all the major ports of the country in the next 12 years under the National Green Hydrogen Mission.
The Central Government had approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission on 4 January 2023 under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The blueprint of this ambitious mission was released by the government on 13 January. Hydrogen is considered the energy of the future and India wants to become a global center for the production, use and export of green hydrogen. For this purpose, the National Green Hydrogen Mission has been started. The initial expenditure for the mission was kept at Rs 19,744 crore.
Aims to become a leading exporter of green hydrogen
India is moving forward with the aim of becoming a major exporter of green hydrogen in the world. It is expected that the global market for green hydrogen will reach 100 million metric tonnes (MMT) by 2030 and India wants to capture 10% of this market. In this context, steps are being taken under the National Green Hydrogen Mission. Union Energy Minister R.K. Singh had informed at the end of March that India already has concrete plans towards different industries to produce six million tonnes of green hydrogen, which will produce about 36 million tonnes of green ammonia.
Trying to get export orders
Whatever industries in India are in this field, they are now trying to get export orders for green hydrogen. India wants to become the powerhouse of the world regarding green hydrogen and green ammonia. India has such an aspect, due to which our possibilities in this field increase a lot. The cost of renewable energy capacity in India is one of the lowest in the world and this puts India at an advantage over other countries. One MW of solar power generation capacity can be installed in India for $6 million and this is the lowest cost in the world. This is the reason why India is confident that its green hydrogen and green ammonia will be the cheapest in the world.
The National Green Hydrogen Mission aims to set up at least 5 million metric tonnes (MMT) of green hydrogen production capacity per year by 2030. But the way in which work is being done in this direction at this speed, the government has now hoped that by 2030, 7 to 10 MMT capacity can be achieved per year.
Advantage of National Green Hydrogen Mission
The National Green Hydrogen Mission will make India the leading producer and supplier of green hydrogen to the world. India will become a major exporter of the world in the field of green hydrogen. This will create attractive investment and business opportunities for the country’s industries. This mission will make a significant contribution to India’s efforts towards decarbonization and self-sufficiency in energy. Not only this, opportunities for employment and economic development will be created. This mission is also important in terms of speeding up the development of green hydrogen eco system in the country. The target set for production capacity by 2030 is expected to attract a total investment of more than Rs 8 lakh crore. It is estimated that due to this more than 6 lakh jobs will be created. The National Green Hydrogen Mission will also cooperate in research and development projects. Overall, this mission will reduce the import of fossil fuels worth more than one lakh crore rupees. At the same time, there will be a reduction of about 50 MMT in annual greenhouse gas emissions. India wants to develop 500 GW of energy capacity from non-fossil fuel (renewable energy + nuclear) sources by 2030 and the National Green Hydrogen Mission will prove to be a milestone in achieving this goal.
Green Hydrogen Challenges in India
It is also true that if India wants to become the world’s leading producer and exporter in the field of green hydrogen, then it will have to work faster in this direction. India would not like to be left behind in the global race for green hydrogen. In the beginning of 2022, India first announced the Green Hydrogen Policy for this purpose. In that policy, the target of producing 5 million metric tons of green hydrogen per year by 2030 was first set. This is 80% more than the current hydrogen demand in the country. The announcement of the Green Hydrogen Policy is an important milestone for India’s energy sector from the perspective of the future. At that time, India had become the 18th country in the world to issue a comprehensive green hydrogen policy.
The challenge of reducing production costs
Green hydrogen production is more expensive than conventional hydrogen (grey, blue) production. India’s focus is on reducing the production cost of green hydrogen much less than the rest of the world. The private sector here is also engaged in this direction. India wants the production cost of green hydrogen to be less than one dollar/kg by the end of this decade. For this, from government company NTPC to private company Reliance Industries Limited, they are engaged from their respective levels. Currently, green hydrogen is very expensive, accounting for less than 1% of global hydrogen production. Producing one kilogram of gray hydrogen costs $1.7 to $2.3 and blue hydrogen costs $1.3-3.6 per kilogram. According to the Council for Energy, Environment and Water, production of green hydrogen costs $3.5 to $5.5 per kilogram. India wants to bring this expenditure down to two dollars and then below one dollar in a phased manner.
Agreements with other countries and their companies
India is also signing agreements with other countries for the production of green hydrogen. In July last year, India and Egypt signed an MoU involving an investment of $8 billion to build a green hydrogen plant. This plant is to be built in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, in which 20 thousand tonnes of green hydrogen is to be produced annually. Later this capacity is to be increased gradually to 220,000 tonnes annually. French company Total Energies also announced a partnership with Adani Group, a private company of India. Under which the French company will invest $ 50 billion in the next 10 years for green hydrogen production.
Agreement of companies with state governments
Different companies are also entering into agreements with the states. One such agreement was signed by renewable energy developer ACME Group with the Karnataka government in June last year. Under this, 1.2 million metric tonnes of green hydrogen is to be produced per year by 2027 in Karnataka through the production center to be built. Similarly, in October last year, Jackson Green Company signed an MoU with the Rajasthan government involving an investment of Rs 22,400 crore to set up green hydrogen and green ammonia projects. Under this, Jackson Green will set up green hydrogen and green ammonia plants with a production capacity of 3,65,000 tonnes per year in a phased manner between 2023 and 2028.
Government to private partnership work
In this way, it is seen that after the announcement of the Green Hydrogen Policy, for the last one year, many types of work are being done at different levels from the government to private partnership to establish the production capacity of Green Hydrogen. Although the agreement is being made through the memorandum of understanding, but more speed will have to be shown in putting those agreements on the real ground, only then the target set by India regarding green hydrogen can be achieved by 2030.
Work on creating domestic market and increasing demand
The National Green Hydrogen Mission is giving direction to the vision of achieving 25% of the domestic hydrogen requirement through green hydrogen by 2030. To be a global leader in the production and use of green hydrogen, India first needs to establish a domestic market for green hydrogen. The country’s current use of hydrogen in fertilizer making, ammonia or petroleum refining is about 6 million metric tons. Right now gray hydrogen is used in these. By mixing 5% or 10% green hydrogen with gray hydrogen, gradually a strong demand for green hydrogen can be created in the country. This is the first step towards creating a domestic market under the National Green Hydrogen Mission, which needs to be taken care of. Then gradually the amount of green hydrogen should be increased in fertilizer making, ammonia or petroleum refining.
Emphasis on increasing usage in a phased manner
India’s green hydrogen policy aims at oil refineries to gradually replace the use of fuel with green hydrogen. Firstly, oil refineries will have to replace 3% of fuel use with green hydrogen by 2025 and take this figure to 30% by 2035. Similarly, fertilizer production should consist of 70% green hydrogen by 2035, starting at 15% in 2025. City gas distribution networks must replace 15 percent of their fuel volumes with green hydrogen by 2035, starting with 5 percent in 2025.
Natural gas consumption will be less
Under the National Green Hydrogen Mission, the proposed production capacity of 5 million metric tons per year has been kept, with which 30 percent of the energy obtained from liquefied natural gas can be replaced in the coming times. India has consumed 63.91 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2021-22. From a calorific value perspective, hydrogen has about 2.5 times more energy per ton than natural gas, which means that 5 million tons of hydrogen can replace about 18 billion cubic meters of natural gas. In this way, green hydrogen has immense potential to meet the energy needs in India from 2030 to 2035.
Green hydrogen is the fuel of the future
In fact, green hydrogen is being seen as the fuel of the future instead of the traditional source of energy i.e. fossil fuel. Green hydrogen is also clean energy from an environmental perspective. India is already committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 and this is possible only through the development of green hydrogen production capabilities. In order to eliminate dependence on crude oil and coal, green hydrogen is going to contribute significantly as a disruptive element in the coming times. Green hydrogen is produced through the process of electrolysis, which involves using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. Alternatively, green hydrogen can also be produced using biowaste through microbial processes or gasification.
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