New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday, January 4, greenlighted the National Green Hydrogen Mission, which aims to make India a global hub for the production of green hydrogen, according to a release by the Press Information Bureau.
A mission outlay of Rs 19,744 crore was cleared by the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to create export opportunities for green hydrogen and its derivatives; decarbonisation of the energy sector and use in mobility applications in a bid to lower the dependence on imported fossil fuels; the development of indigenous manufacturing capacities; creation of employment opportunities; and development of cutting-edge technologies.
“The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved National Green Hydrogen Mission,” Union minister Anurag Thakur told media, according to The Hindu.
By 2030, the Mission aims to develop green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 MMT (Million Metric Tonne) per annum with an associated renewable energy capacity addition of about 125 GW in the country, attract over Rs 8 lakh crore in total investments, create over six lakh jobs, cumulatively reduce fossil fuel imports over Rs 1 lakh crore, and work towards the abatement of nearly 50 MMT of annual greenhouse gas emissions.
The Mission will also facilitate demand creation, production, utilisation and export of green hydrogen. Under the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT), two distinct financial incentive mechanisms – targeting domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and production of Green Hydrogen – will be provided under the Mission.
According to Indian Express, green hydrogen is not commercially viable in India at present. The current cost in India is around Rs 350-400 per kg, and it is expected to become viable only at a production cost of under Rs 100 per kg. This is what the Hydrogen Energy Mission aims for.
As envisaged, the Mission is expected to help India, one of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters, achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, according to Livemint.
While the United States and European Union have already promised incentives worth several billions of dollars for green hydrogen projects, India’s Mission was first announced by the Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech in 2021.
Writing in October 2021 for The Wire, M. Rajshekhar sought to highlight the challenges India will have to face in its pursuit of becoming a global hub for green hydrogen. “Hydrogen doesn’t just break the old corollary between growth and pollution — as fuel cell, it can replace liquid fuels used for transport; as raw fuel, it can decarbonise sectors like steel; as storage, it can make round-the-clock renewable power possible — it gives countries (and companies) a chance to build fresh competitive advantages,” argued Rajshekhar.