India's Commitment towards Decarbonising the Planet: National Green Hydrogen Mission
Samir Bhattacharya, Senior Research Associate, VIF

India's economy is expanding rapidly, resulting in a tremendous demand for resources and energy. Palpably, India's energy consumption has doubled in the last two decades and is expected to rise by another 25% by 2030. India currently imports 40% of its energy needs, which comes at a whopping 90 billion USD annually. Mobility and industrial production are two areas that rely heavily on this energy input. A technological shift that would lessen thisoverdependence is therefore essential. The development of technology is also crucial for steadily raising the proportion of renewable energy and lowering the proportion of fossil fuels in India's energy mix.

Green hydrogen is produced by electrolysing water with sustainable energy sources like solar and wind power. Similarly, green ammonia is made by mixing nitrogen from the air with green hydrogen produced from electrolysis. Because it is produced using renewable energy sources, the hydrogen produced is known as green hydrogen. Unlike conventional hydrogen production methods that rely mainly on fossil fuels, green hydrogen is produced without emitting carbon dioxide. Therefore, it has the potential to be the torch-bearer of low-carbon and independent economic pathways.

Realising its potential, the Government of India launched National Green Hydrogen Mission in January 2023. The Mission aims to developIndia as the world's leader, both as a producer and supplier of green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is alsopoised to be a key component of the nation's sustainable energy future thanks to its potential for revolutionising various industries and reducing environmental damages.

The National Hydrogen Mission aims to produce 5 MMT of green hydrogen annually by 2030. And in order to achieve that, the Mission would encourage the substitution of fossil-fuel-based hydrogen with renewable-based hydrogen, the incorporation of green hydrogen into city gas distribution systems, the refining of petroleum, the production of steel using green hydrogen, and the use of green hydrogen in synthetic products like green methanol.

The National Hydrogen Mission will be carried out in multiple phases. In the first stage, green hydrogen would replace conventional hydrogen derived from fossil fuels in the industries that now use hydrogen. The primary target industries for this introduction of green hydrogen will be transportation, shipping, and aviation. These pilot projects will aid in identifying operational problems and difficulties concerning existing technologies. Other economic sectors will be targeted in the subsequent stages. A 2.5 billion USD initial budget was allocated for the Mission. This money will be utilised to boost supply, encourage R&D, and facilitate essential enablers like shared infrastructure.

India is the only major country to have reached its 40% non-fossil fuel energy goal nine years before the target year 2030. India is continually attempting to improve its energy mix to include more renewable energy sources, including biofuel, ethanol, biogas, solar, and green hydrogen. Truly, India has been striving hard to advance its green hydrogen technologies significantly. In this regard, the National Green Hydrogen Mission of India offers a roadmap for advancing the study, production and application of green hydrogen across different fields.

Currently, 182 GW out of 416 GW—42% of India's total energy consumption—comes from renewable sources. Some of India’s efforts are really unprecedented and path-breaking. For instance, programmes that promote energy and housing efficiency have encouraged the construction of green structures all around the nation. The carbon dioxide emissions from another programme to encourage LEDs have been reduced by 103 million tons annually. Similarly, National Green Hydrogen Mission is India’s attempt to lead this sector globally.

Only 16 countries of the world have announced a green hydrogen action plan and India is one of them. However, unlike many others, India is already in a mission mode and announced INR 20,000 crores for manufacturer assistance. Truly, India has all the possibilities of becoming the champion and the least-cost producer of green Hydrogen and exporter of ammonia. India has already talked about a potential agreement to provide more than 11 million metric tons of green hydrogen annually to Singapore and the European Union, which would then invest in these Indian clean energy projects.

Decarbonising the planet is one of the key objectives that most nations from the world have set for 2050. And India is poised to take the leadership role in clean energy, India is also set to utilise its G20 Presidency to encourage the production and consumption of green hydrogen in other developing countries, particularly in several African nations..

(The paper is the author’s individual scholastic articulation. The author certifies that the article/paper is original in content, unpublished and it has not been submitted for publication/web upload elsewhere, and that the facts and figures quoted are duly referenced, as needed, and are believed to be correct). (The paper does not necessarily represent the organisational stance... More >>

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