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National Green Hydrogen Mission

Focus: GS II: Government Policies and Interventions

Why in News?

Recently, The Union Cabinet approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission.

What is the National Green Hydrogen Mission?

  • The intent of the mission is to incentivise the commercial production of green hydrogen and make India a net exporter of the fuel.
  •  The mission has laid out a target to develop green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 MMT (Million Metric Tonne) per annum.
  • This is alongside adding renewable energy capacity of about 125 GW (gigawatt) in the country.
    • This will entail the decarbonisation of the industrial, mobility and energy sectors; reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock; developing indigenous manufacturing capabilities; creating employment opportunities; and developing new technologies such as efficient fuel cells.
  • By 2030, the Centre hopes its investments will bring in investments worth ₹8 trillion and create over six lakh jobs. Moreover, about 50 MMT per annum of CO2 emissions are expected to be averted by 2030.
  • As per its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, India has committed to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030, from 2005 levels.
Advantages:
  • The National Green Hydrogen Mission will make India a leading producer and supplier of Green Hydrogen in the world.
  • It would result in attractive investment and business opportunities for the industry.
  • Will contribute significantly to India’s efforts for decarbonization and energy independence.
  • Will create opportunities for employment and economic development.
  • The Mission will drive the development of the Green Hydrogen ecosystem in the country.
  •  The targeted production capacity will bring over ₹8 lakh crore in total investments and will result in creation of over 6 lakh clean jobs.
  • The Mission will support pilot projects in other hard-to-abate sectors.
  •  The Mission will also support R&D projects.

What is green hydrogen?

  • A colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic and highly combustible gaseous substance, hydrogen is the lightest, simplest and most abundant member of the family of chemical elements in the universe.
  • But a colour — green — prefixed to it makes hydrogen the “fuel of the future”.
  • The ‘green’ depends on how the electricity is generated to obtain the hydrogen, which does not emit greenhouse gas when burned.
  • Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis using renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind or hydel power.
  • Hydrogen can be ‘grey’ and ‘blue’ too.
    • Grey hydrogen is generated through fossil fuels such as coal and gas and currently accounts for 95% of the total production in South Asia.
    • Blue hydrogen, too, is produced using electricity generated by burning fossil fuels but with technologies to prevent the carbon released in the process from entering the atmosphere.
Green Hydrogen Importance
  • Hydrogen is being used across the United States, Russia, China, France and Germany. Countries like Japan desire to become a hydrogen economy in future.
  • Green hydrogen can in future be used for
    • Electricity and drinking water generation, energy storage, transportation etc. 
    • Green hydrogen can be used to provide water to the crew members in space stations.
    • Energy storage- Compressed hydrogen tanks can store the energy longer and are easier to handle than lithium-ion batteries as they are lighter.
    • Transport and mobility- Hydrogen can be used in heavy transport, aviation and maritime transport.

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