India joins the global race for producing green hydrogen
The present energy crisis, environmental degradation, and the pressure of climate change have led the global economies to explore cleaner fuel alternatives such as hydrogen, which is globally recognized as a cost-efficient and effective alternative and will be a solution to these concerns.
Like other countries, India too aims to get the most out of one of the most profuse elements available naturally on earth i.e. hydrogen
In November 2020, at the 3rd Global RE-INVEST Renewable Energy Investors Meet & Expo, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced central government plans to put in place a Comprehensive National Hydrogen Energy Mission.
In the lines of same, on 1st February 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget 2021-22 has announced a proposal to launch a Hydrogen Energy Mission in 2021-22 for generating hydrogen from green power sources.
Hydrogen energy technologies globally have still not become commercially feasible, but the energy source is comprehended as the next big thing as its usage would lead to zero emissions. With the announcement on February 1st, India has formally joined the race.
The declaration of launching 'National Hydrogen Mission (NHM) is set to put India into the league of few select nations that have taken the initiative in promoting hydrogen economy as an effective means of transitioning to a cleaner environment while at the same time get the most out of on an emerging pathway to ease dependency on imports for accomplishing its energy requirements.
Hydrogen from renewable sources can play a critical role in heavy-duty, long-distance transport. While battery-operated electric vehicles (BEV) will become competitive for heavy-duty transport, hydrogen production will be required. It will also play a critical role in the production of ammonia which is at present being produced from fossil-fuel-based hydrogen.
The industry has been optimistic since the announcement of the launch of the National Hydrogen Mission, which also shows the government's commitment and intent to develop hydrogen as the new-age alternative as well as sustainable fuel for the future.
Applauding the decision on Hydrogen Energy Mission, Dr. Rahul Walawalkar, President, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) said that "advanced chemistry cell battery manufacturing mission and hydrogen mission together can facilitate India to fast-track decolonization of the grid, industrial sector, and transportation sector in the coming decade."
Being optimistic about the future of hydrogen in the country, Siddharth R Mayur, Founder & CEO, h2e Power Systems Pvt. Ltd said that "it is encouraging to see that our government is focused on climate crises and is giving stimulus to fuel cell and alternate fuel sector with the National Hydrogen Energy Mission. We welcome this initiative, the substantial allotment given to the renewable energy sector. It displays the seriousness of our government towards climate change."
Taking a cue from other regions globally, driving change and encouraging the green hydrogen sector via various policies, the Indian government is well set on the path to establishing a leadership position in green hydrogen just as we did with the International Solar Alliance under the vibrant leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he further expressed.
While the setting up of the National Hydrogen Mission is certainly a step in the right direction at an appropriate time it needs to be reinforced by a mandate–based approach to support the green hydrogen economy. An enduring policy focus with a progressive & steady regulatory framework for the hydrogen economy will be required to be put forward as the next step towards safeguarding India's development as a hydrogen economy.