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21st August 2023 (9 Topics)

Govt unveils green hydrogen standards

Context

In a significant move for the progress of the National Green Hydrogen Mission, the government has notified the ‘Green Hydrogen Standard for India’.

 

  • The standards issued by the ministry outline the emission thresholds that must be met in order for hydrogen produced to be classified as ‘Green’,e., from renewable sources.

 

What is Green Hydrogen?

  • Green Hydrogen: It is produced using electrolysis of water with electricity generated by renewable energy.
  • The carbon intensity ultimately depends on the carbon neutrality of the source of electricity (i.e., the more renewable energy there is in the electricity fuel mix, the "greener" the hydrogen produced).

About the notified standards for Green Hydrogen:

  • The ministry has decided to define green hydrogen as having a well-to-gate emission of not more than two kg carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per kg hydrogen (H2).
  • The scope of the definition encompasses both electrolysis-based and biomass-based hydrogen production methods.
  • The notification specifies that a detailed methodology for measurement, reporting, monitoring, on-site verification and certification of green hydrogen and its derivatives will be specified by the ministry of new and renewable energy.
  • It also specifies that the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the ministry of power will be the nodal authority for accreditation of agencies for the monitoring, verification and certification for green hydrogen production projects.
  • The government launched National Green Hydrogen Mission early this year with an aim to produce 5 million metric tonne (MMT) green hydrogen per annum with an associated renewable energy capacity of about 125 giga watt (GW) by 2030.
  • The Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) programme is a major financial measure under the mission with an outlay of Rs 17,490 crore.
  • The programme proposes two distinct financial incentive mechanisms to support domestic production of electrolysers and production of green hydrogen.
  • These incentives are aimed at enabling rapid scale-up, technology development and cost reduction.
  • The definition of green hydrogen brings a lot of clarity to the mission of making India a global green hydrogen hub.

India’s Green Hydrogen aspiration:

  • India has set a target of producing 5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of green hydrogen by 2030 through the recently launched National Green Hydrogen Mission.
  • Rapid scaling up of green hydrogen projects in India would require the development of a favourable ecosystem, and a single window clearance for green hydrogen projects would be a key component.
  • In this regard, the development and harmonisation of hydrogen standards would play a critical role in making it for businesses to enter the green hydrogen market.
  • In addition, since India aims to be a global hub for green hydrogen in the coming decades, the synchronisation of standards across the value chain with global export markets is of the utmost importance.

Significance of Green Hydrogen:

  • Green Hydrogen, produced using renewable energy, has the potential to play a key role in such low-carbon and self-reliant economic pathways.
  • Green Hydrogen can enable utilization of domestically abundant renewable energy resources across regions, seasons, and sectors, feeding multiple usage streams, either as a fuel or as an industrial feedstock.
  • It can directly replace fossil fuel derived feedstocks in petroleum refning, fertilizer production, steel manufacturing etc.
  • Hydrogen fuelled long-haul automobiles and marine vessels can enable decarbonisation of the mobility sector.
  • Green Hydrogen can be particularly useful as a versatile energy carrier for meeting energy requirements of remote geographies, including islands, in a sustainable manner.

National Green Hydrogen Mission:

  • India has set its sight on becoming energy independent by 2047 and achieving Net Zero by 2070.
  • To achieve this target, increasing renewable energy use across all economic spheres is central to India's Energy Transition.
  • Green Hydrogen is considered a promising alternative for enabling this transition.
  • Hydrogen can be utilized for long-duration storage of renewable energy, replacement of fossil fuels in industry, clean transportation, and potentially also for decentralized power generation, aviation, and marine transport.
  • The National Green Hydrogen Mission was approved with the intended objectives of:
    • Making India a leading producer and supplier of Green Hydrogen in the world
    • Creation of export opportunities for Green Hydrogen and its derivatives
    • Reduction in dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock
    • Development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities
    • Attracting investment and business opportunities for the industry
    • Creating opportunities for employment and economic development
    • Supporting R&D projects

Mission outcomes:

The mission outcomes projected by 2030 are:

  • Development of 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
  • Over Eight lakh crore in total investments
  • Creation of over Six lakh jobs
  • Cumulative reduction in fossil fuel imports over Rs. One lakh crore
  • Abatement of nearly 50 MMT of annual greenhouse gas emissions

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