National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM)

– Challenges and suggestion to enhance the commercial-scale operation of green hydrogen in India.

National Hydrogen Energy Mission NHEM-

Indian prepares to launch the National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM).

    • The global target is to produce 1.45 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2023.
    • India currently consumes approximately 5.5 million tonnes of hydrogen, which is mainly derived from imported fossil fuels. With NHEM, India will be able to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel imports.
    • Steel, chemical, and transportation industries are among the industries that will benefit from the NHEM. Owing to the amount of fossil fuels they consume, which can be directly substituted with hydrogen, they contribute to one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.
What is green hydrogen?

Green Hydrogen is pure hydrogen generated by using renewable energy such as solar power and wind energy. The by-products are water and water vapour.

  • Transportation cost – Majority of low-cost renewable energy resources are located far from potential demand centres. As a result, the cost of transportation from the plant to the demand centre rises.
  • High cost of production – The technology used in production of green hydrogen is still in its early stages and is costly, which raises the cost of production.
  • Storage related issues

Recommendations for scaling up commercial scale operation of green hydrogen in India-

  • Firstly, Decentralized hydrogen production – Decentralization must be promoted through open access of renewable power to an electrolyser (which splits water to form H2 and O2 using electricity).
        • This can be done by transporting renewable energy directly from the plant to the refinery, which will reduce transportation costs by 60% compared to shipping hydrogen through trucks.
  • Secondly, Continuous access to renewable energy for decentralized hydrogen production.
  • Thirdly, Need to blend green Hydrogen into existing conventional hydrogen process-
      • This would also aid in the development of a scientific understanding of the processes involved in large-scale hydrogen handling.
  • Fourthly, Investment for R&D on green Hydrogen technology is required– Green hydrogen processing technology is still in its early stages, requiring extensive research and development to advance.
      • This requires substantial investment in the research and development of hydrogen technologies. Policymakers need to facilitate investments.
  • Lastly, Focus on domestic manufacturing –
      • Need to establish an end-to-end electrolyser manufacturing facility.
      • Needs to secure supplies of raw materials.
      • Need manufacturing strategy that integrates with the global value chain and can maximize existing strengths.
Way forward-

With decentralized hydrogen production, continuous access to renewable energy, increased investment in R&D, capacity building, compatible legislation, and the ability to create demand among its vast population, India can be in a unique position to benefit from the green Hydrogen.

Source- The Hindu

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