On India’s 75th Independence Day (15th August 2021), Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Hydrogen Mission which contributes towards achieving the country’s ambitious climate targets and make India a green hydrogen hub. This article provides an overview of green hydrogen fundamentals and how the Government of India plans to support a massive deployment of this pioneering technology.
Before getting into the policy details, let us review what is green hydrogen. Most of us learnt about hydrogen in one of our earliest chemistry classes. It is the first atom in the periodic table, and is one of the most abundant elements in the universe. Hydrogen is a colourless and odourless gas, but hardly exists as a gas on earth. It combines with other elements to form compounds like water (combining with oxygen) and hydrocarbons (combining with carbon). As a result, hydrogen must be separated from the other elements in these compounds so that it can be used for various applications. Since hydrogen is an energy carrier, it is expected to play a key role in the decarbonisation of hard-to-able sectors like iron and steel, oil refining and fertilizers, among others. The colour of hydrogen, green in this case, becomes significant due to its role in the decarbonisation of energy systems.
What is green hydrogen?
If hydrogen is colourless, where does the ‘green’ colour come from, and what are the other colours of hydrogen? The answer is that hydrogen is assigned a colour based on its production method. Apart from green, hydrogen can be blue, grey, brown, black, turquoise, red, pink, purple, and white.
Hydrogen can be produced either using electricity or using fossil fuels. When hydrogen is produced using renewable or green electricity, it is called green hydrogen. The image below provides a comparison of the different colours of hydrogen. White hydrogen, which is not shown in the image, is available naturally in the environment in negligible quantities. Red Hydrogen, also not in the image, is produced by nuclear power using catalytic splitting (Source).
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India’s green hydrogen policy
This policy envisages that hydrogen and ammonia will replace fossil fuels and contribute to the decarbonisation of India’s energy systems and make India an export hub for green hydrogen and green ammonia. Through the policy, the country has set itself a target of producing 5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of green hydrogen by 2030 and the related development of renewable energy capacity.
To achieve these targets, the Government of India has announced policies intended to lower the Levelized Cost of Hydrogen (LCOH) by reducing the input costs (renewable electricity, transmission costs) and reducing development costs for manufacturers of green hydrogen/ammonia. Some of the key highlights of the policy are:
Further details about the policy can be accessed here
Green Hydrogen is expected to a play a crucial role in achieving India’s climate targets. It’s role in decarbonising the energy systems by replacing fossil fuels is also well documented. With the proactive and ambitious policies of the Government of India, the green hydrogen economy is expected to take off in a major way in India. To further explore ideas, innovations, and partnerships in India’s burgeoning green hydrogen / ammonia sector, visit The smarter E India 2022 and participate in its exclusive conference on green hydrogen.