The Cabinet on Wednesday approved a National Green Hydrogen Mission with an initial outlay of Rs 19,744 crore with a view to making India a global hub for manufacturing of this benign source of energy.
The mission, in sync with the plan to reduce carbon intensity of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and achieve net zero emissions by 2070, seeks to promote development of annual green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 million tonne (mt) by 2030 with associated renewable energy capacity addition of 125 gigawatt (GW).
Investments to the tune of Rs 8 trillion are meant to be catalysed with the support, leading to creation of 600,000 jobs by 2030. It is estimated that the mission would allow cumulative reduction in fossil fuel imports of over Rs 1 trillion and abatement of nearly 50 mt of annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
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“The initial outlay for the mission will be Rs 19,744 crore, including an outlay of Rs 17,490 crore for the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT) programme, Rs 1,466 crore for pilot projects, Rs 400 crore for R&D, and Rs 388 crore towards other mission components,” a government statement said. The idea is to promote production, utilisation and export of green hydrogen and its derivatives.
The details of the scheme will be worked out by the ministry of new and renewable energy, including the guidelines for its implementation.
Green hydrogen is hydrogen produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity. It is globally being recognised as an enabler of the global transition to sustainable energy and net zero emission economies. In November 2021, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Markets Initiative announced pledges by 28 global companies to drive growth in the supply of hydrogen.
Listing out the comprehensive benefits of the scheme, the government said it would spur creation of export opportunities for green hydrogen and its derivatives, decarbonisation of industrial, mobility and energy sectors; reduction in dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock; development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities; creation of employment opportunities; and development of cutting-edge technologies.
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The mission will also support pilot projects in emerging end-use sectors and production pathways. Regions capable of supporting large-scale production and/or utilisation of hydrogen will be identified and developed as green hydrogen hubs.
An enabling policy framework will be developed to support establishment of the green hydrogen ecosystem. A coordinated skill development programme will also be undertaken under the mission. All ministries, departments, agencies and institutions of the Central and state governments will undertake focussed and coordinated steps to ensure successful achievement of the mission’s objectives. The ministry of new & renewable energy will be responsible for the overall coordination and implementation.