Mandating Green Hydrogen Use In Fertilisers and Other Sectors Key, Says Minister

Highlights :

  • Draft of National Hydrogen Mission policy is under ministerial consultation.
  • The policy targets green hydrogen to account for 10% of the overall hydrogen needs of refiners from 2023/24, rising to 25% in five years.

According to the junior oil minister, Rameswar Teli, under its quest to reduce carbon emissions, India plans to mandate refineries and fertilizer plants to use some green hydrogen.

In a written reply to lawmakers on Monday, Teli said that India’s draft hydrogen policy will mandate a gradual increase in the use of green hydrogen instead of fossil fuels in refineries and fertilizer plants.

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Even when the governments and energy companies across the world are speculating on clean hydrogen playing a major role in efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions, its future uses and costs remain uncertain.

Although he did not give details but noted green hydrogen is yet to be produced in India on a commercial scale due to the high cost of production.

Power minister R. K. Singh also told lawmakers last week that the draft National Hydrogen Mission policy, prepared by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), was under ministerial consultation.

The policy intends to boost green hydrogen production and its use across multiple sectors, including transportation, he announced.

Consequently, the fertilizer minister Mansukh Mandaviya said last month, the use of green hydrogen would cut imports of ammonia and natural gas required for fertilizer production.

The draft policy wants green hydrogen to account for 10% of the overall hydrogen needs of refiners from 2023/24, rising to 25% in five years, a government source said. The respective requirements for the fertilizer sector are 5% and 20%, he added.

India is raising its renewable energy capacity, currently, 92.97 gigawatts (GW), to meet about two-fifths of its electricity needs by 2030 under the Paris climate accord, compared with 36.7% currently.

It wants to raise renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030. Mandating production of green hydrogen is one way to create significant demand for renewable energy, at a time when demand growth is struggling, and discoms are unable to get off thermal contracts.

India has already begun the use and announced production of green hydrogen as recently, in July, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOC) has announced plans to build the first-ever commercial green hydrogen plant at its Mathura refinery in Uttar Pradesh.

NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd. (REL) had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Territory of Ladakh to set up the country’s first Green Hydrogen Mobility project.

Recently, JSW Energy’s wholly-owned subsidiary, JSW Future Energy Ltd. partnered with an Australian firm Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), to explore opportunities to develop green hydrogen projects in India. Last week, Indian Railways invited bids to explore if diesel-fuel trains could operate using hydrogen.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.