National Hydrogen Mission policy: Part I

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    In News 

    • Recently, the Ministry of Power notified the first part of the National Hydrogen Mission policy on green hydrogen and green ammonia

    Major Highlights of the policy 

    • Green Hydrogen / Ammonia manufacturers may purchase renewable power from the power exchange or set up renewable energy capacity themselves or through any other developer, anywhere.
    • Open access will be granted within 15 days of receipt of the application.
    • The Green Hydrogen / Ammonia manufacturer can bank his unconsumed renewable power, for up to 30 days, with the distribution company and take it back when required.
    • Distribution licensees can also procure and supply Renewable Energy to the manufacturers of Green Hydrogen / Green Ammonia in their States at concessional prices which will only include the cost of procurement, wheeling charges and a small margin as determined by the State Commission.
    • Waiver of inter-state transmission charges for a period of 25 years will be allowed to the manufacturers of Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia for the projects commissioned before 30th June 2025.
    • The manufacturers of Green Hydrogen / Ammonia and the renewable energy plant shall be given connectivity to the grid on a priority basis to avoid any procedural delays.
    • The benefit of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) will be granted incentive to the hydrogen/Ammonia manufacturer and the Distribution licensee for consumption of renewable power.
    • Manufacturers of Green Hydrogen / Green Ammonia shall be allowed to set up bunkers near Ports for storage of Green Ammonia for export/use by shipping. The land for the storage for this purpose shall be provided by the respective Port Authorities at applicable charges.

    Benefits linked to it 

    • Hydrogen and Ammonia are envisaged to be the future fuels to replace fossil fuels. 
    • Production of these fuels by using power from renewable energy termed green hydrogen and green ammonia is one of the major requirements towards environmentally sustainable energy security of the nation.
    •  The government of India is taking various measures to facilitate the transition from fossil fuel/fossil fuel-based feedstocks to green hydrogen / green ammonia.
    • The implementation of this Policy will provide clean fuel to the common people of the country. 
    • This will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and also reduce crude oil imports.
    • The policy promotes Renewable Energy (RE) generation as RE will be the basic ingredient in making green hydrogen.  
      • This in turn will help in meeting the international commitments for clean energy.

    About National Hydrogen Mission

    • It was proposed in the Union Budget 2021.
    • The government’s aim is to make India a global hub for the production and export of green hydrogen.
    • Green hydrogen energy is vital for India to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions.
      • It is a clean-burning molecule, which can decarbonise a range of sectors including iron and steel, chemicals, and transportation.
    • The initiative has the potential of transforming transportation.
    • This will help in meeting the target of production of 5 million tonnes of Green hydrogen by 2030 and the related development of renewable energy capacity.

    Major Activities to be carried out under the Mission

    • Creating volumes and infrastructure
    • Demonstrations in niche applications 
    • Goal-oriented Research & Development
    • Facilitative policy support
    • A robust framework for standards and regulations for hydrogen technologies

    Need and Significance of the Mission

    • Clean and More Efficient
      • Hydrogen is the lightest element and produces water on combustion.
      • It is about 2-3 times more efficient than burning petrol.
    • Transportation Sector Transformation
      • The transportation sector is one of the most polluting industries.
        • It contributes nearly 1/3rd of all greenhouse gas emissions.
      • Hydrogen fuel cell cars have a near-zero carbon footprint.
        • Thus, it can help India in achieving its emission goals under the Paris Agreement
      • Hydrogen Fuel cells are better than Battery electric vehicles.
        • They enable a refuelling time of just 5 minutes, compared to 30-45 minutes of charging for a Battery operated Electric Vehicle.
      • Also, cars get better energy storage per unit volume and weight, freeing up a lot of space for other things.
      • It is also effective for sectors that cannot be electrified like shipping and air travel.
    • Storage option for Solar and Wind Energy
      • Renewable energy that cannot be stored or used by the grid can be channelled to produce hydrogen.
    • Encountering Chinese Hegemony in Rare Earth Mineral
      • Hydrogen Fuel has the potential to reduce India’s demand for rare earth minerals used in the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles.
    • Energy from Waste
      • Bio and plastic waste can be converted into hydrogen. 
        • It will help to combat twin problems of waste management and energy security.
    • Reducing India’s Current Account Deficit (CAD) 
      • India imports 85% of its oil and 53% of its gas demand. 
      • Green hydrogen has the potential to reduce import dependency on fossil fuels.
    • Addressing uncertainty in global energy markets 
      • Due to instability in the Gulf Region, there is often a  spike in crude oil prices impacting Indian Energy security.

    What is Hydrogen Fuel?

    • Hydrogen fuel is a zero-emission fuel burned with oxygen. 
      • It can be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines. 
      • It is also used as a fuel for spacecraft propulsion.
    • It can be manufactured by 
      • electrolysis of water by using direct current.
      • Natural Gas Reforming/Gasification: 
        • Natural Gas on reaction with steam produces Synthesis gas.
        • Synthetic gas is a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and a small amount of carbon dioxide.
      • Fermentation: Biomass is converted into sugar-rich feedstocks that can be fermented to produce hydrogen.
    • It is then stored after mixing or converting to ammonia or synthetic gas for easy liquefaction and transport.

    Types of Hydrogen Fuel

    • Grey Hydrogen: 
      • Manufactured using Natural Gas without carbon sequestration
    • Brown Hydrogen: 
      • Manufactured using Coal without carbon sequestration.
    • Blue Hydrogen: 
      • Manufactured using Natural Gas with carbon sequestration.
    • Green Hydrogen: 
      • Manufactured using Renewable Energy.

    Source: PIB