We’ve messed up with the environment.
There’s no use beating around the bush or passing blame. We, the human race, have failed Mother Nature. Pollution, global warming, extreme climatic conditions and natural disasters — are all collateral damage.
Don’t worry, I’m not blaming you. The damage has been the result of centuries of exploitation and consumerism.
But there’s no use crying about it now. What’s done is done. The question that we face now is — what can we do to fix the issue?
Well, if news reports are to be believed, India’s new Green Hydrogen Plan might just be the answer.
Let’s find out!
What is India’s Green Hydrogen Policy?
It was on the 75th anniversary of our independence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the National Hydrogen Mission. The aim, of course, is to reduce carbon emissions and make some headway along the eventual goal of becoming a zero-emission country by 2070.
Why is this especially important for India?
Well, think about it logically. India is one of the biggest manufacturing hubs in the world. In fact, the government is actively trying to increase India’s manufacturing output. One of the byproducts of increased product is the increased generation of waste and greenhouse gases.
It is very important to come up with clean sources of energy that can sustain the demands of manufacturing. Otherwise, we’ll be polluting more and more.
On January 4, 2023, the Cabinet approved the Green Hydrogen Plan. Valued at Rs 19,744 crores, this will set the stage for the production and distribution of affordable clean energy. This mission will be spearheaded by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
Now, what’s green hydrogen?
At the core, it is a clean fuel. It’s an alternative to non-renewable sources of energy like coal.
Green hydrogen is made by splitting water into its components — hydrogen and oxygen. The electric energy that is required to power this split can be generated entirely from sustainable sources.
So, in essence, green hydrogen involves no carbon emission — in the production or in its use.
What is the aim of India’s Green Hydrogen Policy?
The main aim is to ensure that companies in India are able to use clean energy for manufacturing purposes. The initial investment will help reach the goal of producing 5 MMT (million metric tonnes) of green hydrogen by the end of 2030.
This will have a two-fold benefit.
Firstly, the incentives and the flow of funding into this sector will encourage more and more companies to take part. This means both private and public players will be encouraged to shift to green hydrogen fuel and reduce the usage of coal.
Secondly, there are the economies of scale.
Let me explain how this works.
Whenever you produce more of a commodity, the per unit cost of production falls. For instance, if you set up a factory and buy machinery to produce a million metric tonnes of green hydrogen, it would probably take you Rs 1 crore (let’s just assume this for the example).
If you add some upgrades to the machinery, spending about Rs 20 lakhs, you might be able to scale up to 3 MMT of green hydrogen.
So, the more you produce, the cheaper it gets!
According to MP Anurag Thakur, the goal is to reduce the cost of production by 2028.
Currently, the cost of production is $3 per kg. If that can be reduced to $2 per kg, green hydrogen will become competitive as a fuel choice. In other words, it will be able to hold its own against natural gas.