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Scheme for Pilot Projects for Green Hydrogen in Transport Sector

Why is it in the news?

  • The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued guidelines for implementing pilot projects aimed at utilizing green hydrogen in the transport sector.

 

More about the news

  • MNRE will execute pilot projects under the National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM) to replace fossil fuels in the transport sector with green hydrogen and its derivatives.
  • Total budget allocation: Rs. 496 Crores until FY 2025-26.

Scheme Guidelines for Pilot Projects:

  • Focus on developing technologies for green hydrogen utilization in buses, trucks, and 4-wheelers, employing fuel cell or internal combustion engine-based propulsion.
  • Support for infrastructure development including hydrogen refuelling stations.
  • Encouragement for innovative hydrogen applications to reduce carbon emissions, such as blending methanol/ethanol with green hydrogen or other synthetic fuels derived from it.
About Green Hydrogen

·       Produced via electrolysis of water using electricity from renewable sources like solar or wind.

·       MNRE defines green hydrogen as having a well-to-gate emission of ≤ 2 kg CO2 equivalent / kg H2.

·       Currently represents less than 1% of global hydrogen production due to high production costs.

National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM)

·       Initiated in 2023 with a substantial budgetary allocation of Rs. 19,744 crores.

·       Aims to position India as a global leader in green hydrogen production, utilization, and export.

·       Its objective is to establish India as a pivotal hub for the entire green hydrogen value chain, including production, utilization, and global trade. It aligns with India’s commitments to sustainable development and carbon neutrality.

·       Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is tasked with overseeing the coordination and implementation of the mission. It plays a crucial role in facilitating strategic interventions and policy frameworks to achieve mission objectives.

Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT):

·       Introduces financial incentive mechanisms targeting the domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and green hydrogen production.

·       Aims to stimulate investment and innovation in green hydrogen technology and infrastructure.

Expected Outcomes by 2030:

·       Development of green hydrogen production capacity to at least 5 million metric tonnes per annum.

·       Addition of approximately 125 GW of renewable energy capacity in the country.

·       Attraction of investments exceeding Rs. 8 lakh crores.

·       Substantial reduction in fossil fuel imports, amounting to over Rs. 1 lakh crore.

·       Abatement of nearly 50 million metric tonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Challenges

·       Gaseous hydrogen poses safety challenges during transportation due to its inflammability.

·       Green hydrogen production currently incurs higher costs compared to conventional methods.

·       Inadequate fuel station infrastructure poses a significant hurdle for widespread adoption of green hydrogen.

·       India faces stiff competition with around 500 operational hydrogen stations globally, primarily concentrated in Europe, Japan, and South Korea.

Other Initiatives for decarbonization of Transport Sector

Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME scheme):

·       A government initiative aimed at accelerating the adoption and manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) in India.

·       Provides incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles and supports the development of EV charging infrastructure.

Bharat Stage VI Emission Standards:

·       Stringent emission standards set by the Government of India to regulate air pollutant emissions from internal combustion engine vehicles.

·       Aimed at reducing harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and hydrocarbons emitted by vehicles.

Forum for Decarbonising Transport (2021):

·       Joint initiative between NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute (WRI), India, focusing on decarbonizing the transport sector.

·       Aims to develop strategies and policies to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector, promoting sustainable and low-carbon mobility solutions.

Promotion of Biofuels Blending (EBP Programme):

·       Government program promoting the blending of biofuels, particularly ethanol, with petrol.

·       Aims to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and curb carbon emissions by blending 20% ethanol in petrol under the Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme.

Way Forward

  • Green hydrogen, derived from clean processes like electrolysis powered by renewable energy, emerges as a trustworthy energy option for the future.
  • Strengthening infrastructure in both small-scale manufacturing enterprises and large industries is vital for India to achieve its green hydrogen objectives.
  • Integrating renewable energy across various economic sectors stands as a central pillar of India’s energy transition strategy.
  • Green hydrogen offers versatile applications including long-term storage of renewable energy; substituting fossil fuels in industrial processes; powering clean transportation; and potential utilization in decentralized power generation, aviation, and marine transport sectors.

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