India’s Push for Green Energy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a National Hydrogen Mission for India in his Independence Day speech on Sunday, in an effort to ensure the country’s energy security.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his eighth speech from the Red Fort’s ramparts on Sunday, honoring the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. He said the government is focused on meeting its climate commitments, and he unveiled the National Hydrogen Mission to that aim.

This is despite the fact that India spends $12 trillion each year to cover its energy needs. Green hydrogen is created by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyzer powered by renewable energy sources like wind and solar. It could be a game-changer for India, which imports 85 percent of its oil and 53 percent of its gas demand.

While announcing the mission, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the need for energy independence, saying that the plan entails India becoming a global center for green hydrogen production and exports. Given India’s reliance on imported energy, the strategy entails utilizing the country’s vast landmass and low solar and wind tariffs to manufacture low-cost green hydrogen and ammonia for export, hence strengthening India’s geopolitical might.

PM Modi stated that energy independence is critical for India’s prosperity and self-sufficiency. It is for this reason that the country will be required to take this oath to make India energy independent before the country’s 100th anniversary, he added.

As part of measures to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, India is considering making it necessary for fertilizer plants and oil refineries to purchase green hydrogen. For the same, a draft cabinet note has been moved.

Green hydrogen, according to Modi, is the most important goal, as it will allow India to make a quantum leap forward. India’s aim will be to use a scale to promote its ambitious green hydrogen plan, similar to its renewable energy programme, resulting in the country having the world’s largest clean energy programme.

Similar to Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO), the government aims to establish the Green Hydrogen Consumption Obligation (GHCO) in fertilizer manufacturing and petroleum refining.

To reduce dependency on fossil fuels, RPOs force power distribution firms to purchase a set amount of renewable energy. From 6.7 million tonnes (mt) now, India’s total hydrogen demand is predicted to reach 11.7 million tonnes (mt) by 2029-30.

This comes as India’s domestic oil and gas production has been declining. Domestic crude and oil and gas output declined by 5.22 percent and 8.06 percent, respectively, from April 2020 to March 2021, compared to the previous financial year’s similar period.

The current cost of green hydrogen produced by electrolysis is anticipated to be over 350 per kilogram, but the goal is to reduce it to roughly 160 per kilogram by 2029-30. The government also wants to expand the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for electrolyzer manufacturers who want to make green hydrogen.

Green hydrogen is made by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen in an electrolyzer fueled by renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

Modi went on to say that Indian Railways had set a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2030. He went on to say that the government was emphasizing a circular economy to meet its environmental aims, citing schemes like the new automobile scrappage policy as examples.

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