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Green Hydrogen Superpower

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March 07, 2023

Why in news?

Green hydrogen is a critical industrial fuel of the 21st century and India is well-positioned to show leadership.

What is green hydrogen?

  • It is a type of hydrogen produced by splitting water through electrolysis, using electrolyser powered entirely by renewable power sources.
  • Advantages – It could replace fossil fuels and decarbonize a range of sectors such as petroleum refining, fertiliser production, steel production, chemicals, transport, etc.
  • Disadvantages – It is not commercially viable at present and is expensive to be manufactured.

Green Hydrogen Color Coding

All about Green Hydrogen.

What is the National Green Hydrogen Mission?

  • The National Green Hydrogen Mission was first announced by the Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech in 2021.
  • Objectives – The mission is aimed at making India a global hub for the production of green hydrogen.
  • The mission also aims to:
  1. Creation of export opportunities for green hydrogen.
  2. Decarbonisation of the energy sector.
  3. Development of indigenous manufacturing capacities.

All about National Green Hydrogen Mission.

What are India’s commitments?

  • Electricity – India has committed to 50% electricity capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030.
  • Most industrial greenhouse gas emissions in India come from steel, cement, fertilizers and petrochemicals.
  • Green hydrogen – India is targeting at least 5 million tonnes of production of green hydrogen by 2030, which is larger than that of any single economy.

How can the targets be achieved?

  • Domestic demand – If we are not a big player domestically, we cannot be a major player in the international market.
  • SIGHT – The mission introduces a Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) fund for five years, with ₹13,000 crore as direct support to consume green hydrogen.
  • This will encourage heavy industries to increase demand, offering economies of scale by which suppliers can reduce prices.
  • Government procurement – A share of government procurement of steel could be nudged towards green steel, which could help India to later position itself as a green steel exporter.
  • Investments – India can be an attractive destination for domestic and foreign investment.
  • A mission secretariat can ensure project clearance is streamlined and reduce financial risks.
  • Electrolyser manufacturing – The SIGHT fund offers ₹4,500 crore to support electrolyser manufacturing under the performance-linked incentive scheme.
  • Not targeting value addition would result in electrolyser technologies and production again getting concentrated.
  • China could end up controlling 38% of electrolyser capacity by 2030.
  • Bilateral partnerships – India must cooperate with like-minded countries on trade, value chains, research and development, and standards.
  • Trade in local currency – Using yen or euro for trade, could reduce the cost of capital and help us become export competitive.
  • Rules for green hydrogen economy – India must coordinate with major economies to develop rules for a global green hydrogen economy.
  • Attempts for rules and standards are being driven by private corporations rather than structured intergovernmental processes.

What is the way forward?

  • G20 – India’s G20 presidency is an opportunity to craft rules for a global green hydrogen economy.
  • These rules must address operational threats, industrial competitiveness and strategic threats.
  • Global network – India should promote a global network on green hydrogen via which companies could collaborate.
  • India’s geography – With abundant sunshine and significant wind energy resources, India is geographically blessed to become one of the lowest-cost producers of green hydrogen.
  • India is well-positioned to show leadership, in our collective interest and that of the planet.

 

Reference

  1. The Hindu │ How to become a green hydrogen superpower
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