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PM’s Hydrogen Mission Needs Investment In Research And Development

Mass manufacturing and deployment of hydrogen technologies key to displace fossil fuel use

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his eighth Independence Day speech, announced the National Hydrogen Mission, which would help India to meet its climate targets and make it energy independent before 2047.

“India is not energy independent. It spends over Rs 12 lakh crore on importing energy. We need to become energy independent before 100 years of independence is completed.” he said.

The clean technologies market in India has been dominated by solar PV, wind and lithium-ion batteries for quite some time now. One other technology which can contribute to reducing emissions is related to the production, transportation, storage and use of low carbon hydrogen.

One of the key focuses of the mission is to produce hydrogen from renewable power sources which in turn would create green hydrogen and achieve the objective of decarbonisation. However, there are challenges in creating green hydrogen as certain methods, like the electrolysis of water is too expensive. Most Hydrogen in India, as of now, is produced through reforming methane which results in significant carbon dioxide emissions. While there is significant research activity around other methods of producing hydrogens such as Photolysis and some biogenic methods, these low carbon technologies are yet to be deployed at scale.

In 2016, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy laid out a plan to promote a hydrogen-based economy with a heavy emphasis on funding for different electrolyser technologies and their integration with renewable electricity sources. However, despite these moves, the current activity is still below where it needs to be to fully take advantage of a transition to hydrogen technologies.

The Energy and Resources Institute in its report titled, “Make Hydrogen in India,” emphasised on funding for Research and Development by the Government of India and increasing activity across the public and private sectors to develop a hydrogen economy. Only through the mass manufacture and deployment of hydrogen technologies at scale, India can start to displace significant amounts of fossil fuel use without government subsidy.

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Hydrogen Mission National Hydrogen Mission