Print Friendly, PDF & Email

UPSC Sansad TV: AIR’S Spotlight- Research, Development & Innovation to Accelerate Adoption of Green Hydrogen

sansad_tv

 

 

Green Hydrogen:

  • Green Hydrogen is the clean hydrogen generated by using renewable energysuch as solar power and wind energy. The by-products are water and water vapor.
  • Green hydrogen is produced via the electrolysis of water. All you need to produce large amounts of hydrogen is water, a big electrolyzer, and large supplies of electricity.
  • If the electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar or hydro, then the hydrogen is effectively green; the only carbon emissions in its production will occur from the generation infrastructure.

Significance of Green Hydrogen:

  • Green hydrogen energy is vital for India to meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) Targets and ensure regional and national energy security, access and availability.
  • Green Hydrogen can act as an energy storage option, which would be essential to meet intermittencies (of renewable energy) in the future.
  • In terms of mobility, for long distance mobilisations for either urban freight movement within cities and states or for passengers, Green Hydrogen can be used in railways, large ships, buses or trucks, etc.

 Applications of green hydrogen:

  • Green Chemicals like ammonia and methanol can directly be utilized in existing applications like fertilizers, mobility, power, chemicals, shipping etc.
  • Green Hydrogen blending up to 10% may be adopted in CGD networks to gain widespread acceptance.

 Benefits:

  • It is a clean-burning molecule, which can decarbonize a range of sectors including iron and steel, chemicals, and transportation.
  • Renewable energy that cannot be stored or used by the grid can be channelled to produce hydrogen.

Policy Challenges:

  • One of the biggest challenges faced by the industry for using hydrogen commercially is the economic sustainability of extracting green or blue hydrogen.
  • The technology used in production and use of hydrogen like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)and hydrogen fuel cell technology are at nascent stage and are expensive which in turn increases the cost of production of hydrogen.
  • Maintenance costs for fuel cells post-completion of a plant can be costly.
  • The commercial usage of hydrogen as a fuel and in industries requires mammoth investment in R&D of such technology and infrastructurefor production, storage, transportation and demand creation for hydrogen.

Measures needed:

  • At this juncture, with a calibrated approach, India can uniquely position itself to take advantage with increasing investment in R&D, capacity building, compatible legislation, and the opportunity for creation of demand among its vast population. Such initiatives can propel India to become the most favoured nation by exporting hydrogen to its neighbors and beyond.
  • Proactive industry collaboration with the government is key to creating a hydrogen economy in India.
  • This will help bring best-in-class hydrogen technology, equipment, and know-how to create a hydrogen supply chain in India — in many cases, these could be “Made in India”.
  • By prioritising national hydrogen demonstration projects, innovations to further reduce the cost of hydrogen will become prominent locally.
  • A robust policy framework akin to the one that guided the country’s solar revolution could lead to an increase in production and demand of this green fuel.
  • The Government of India should consider setting up a multi-agency mission to bring multiple ministries, private industry and academia together in a partnership to scale up the deployment of hydrogen across sectors and industries.
  • Having a clear mid-term and long-term target inspires confidence in the private sector to make their investments in a new energy source.
  • Tax benefits that solar and wind receive should be extended to all players in the green hydrogen ecosystem.
  • In the short term, the price of hydrogen generated through steam methane reformation should be capped.
  • Generating hydrogen from biomass should also be incentivised as it also has the potential to increase farmer incomes.
  • India should ramp up international collaborations for more effortless transfer of technology and resources related to hydrogen.
  • Low solar prices coupled with pragmatic policies can help India take a leadership position in driving the global hydrogen economy.

Conclusion:

  • The immediate need here is to identify the key long-term goals and the step to achieve those goals.
  • The building up of policies, infrastructure and skills will help in wider acceptance, reducing perceived risks, enhancing confidence, increased investments, lowering costs.
  • Thus, the major challenges we need to finally meet is scaling up, cost reduction, increased adoption and sustainable growth of hydrogen-based technologies.
  • The role that Government can play is towards creating a long-term policy framework which could build up confidence in private investment, create market demand with policy interventions, develop standards and regulations which should not hurdle the growth, provide enhanced R & D support.
  • Green hydrogen is one of the most promising fuels in the efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Green hydrogen energy is vital for India to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions and ensure regional and national energy security, access and availability. Hydrogen can act as an energy storage option, which would be essential to meet intermittencies (of renewable energy) in the future.