Out of 29.58 crore vehicles zooming ahead on Indian roads, only around 14 lakh are now electric, but carbon emissions aren’t affected by traffic alone. As of now fossil fuels are used for producing 77 per cent of power in India, and a bulk of it is from coal, which the country is nowhere close to cutting off. But green hydrogen can cut dependency on fossil fuels, as the global market for the clean alternative is slated to be worth almost $60 billion.
A major step towards going green
As leading oil suppliers Saudi Arabia and UAE have already started work on green hydrogen plants, India has approved a Rs 19,744 crore investment to make India a hub for the clean fuel. Of this, Rs 17,490 crore will be allotted to the Strategic Intervention for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) initiative, while the rest will be spent on pilot projects. The national hydrogen mission funded by this, will deliver a capacity of 125 GW, increasing the contribution of renewables in India’s energy mix, and reduce fossil fuel imports by Rs 1 lakh crore.
How is it created?
Green Hydrogen is created when a high voltage electric current is passed through water, splitting hydrogen and oxygen molecules. The hydrogen from the process is captured and later unleashed as a fuel for vehicles, further power generation and other purposes. But its production costs remain high, for instance a kilogram of green hydrogen costs Rs 350 compared to almost Rs 79 per kg for CNG in India.
Feasibility a concern
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries on the other hand has turned its focus towards a more cost effective Blue Hydrogen, which is produced by splitting natural gas molecules and capturing carbon from it. But some argue that it leads to 20 per cent more carbon emissions than natural gas due to heat generation from the process.
The Middle East surging ahead?
As India is eyeing a Rs 8 lakh crore investment in green hydrogen generation and six lakh new jobs through the mission with Rs 19,744 crore funding, Saudi Arabia has already started work on its green hydrogen unit worth more than Rs 41,000 crore. Apart from that Abu Dhabi will also get a green hydrogen plant to be built by South Korean firms at a cost of more than Rs 8,000 crore.
In the private sector, India’s wealthiest man Gautam Adani is set to invest $50 billion in green hydrogen, and will create the world’s biggest ecosystem for the cleaner alternative.
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