Green Hydrogen could be the game changer for solar

Amisha Yadav @CCMS Bureau

India’s plans to manufacture five million tonnes of green hydrogen annually by 2030, aims to meet the country’s climate targets and become a production and export hub for the fuel.

147 years after Jules Verne said “water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light, of an intensity of which coal is not capable.” in his book ‘The Mysterious Island’, India is set to live the green hydrogen era today.

Hydrogen is the simplest element and does not generate pollutant emissions by itself upon burning. Green Hydrogen is produced using renewables and has a high reputation among the clean fuels. The zero-carbon fuel is made using renewable power from wind or solar sources to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

While with all these favorable characteristics, hydrogen is a perfect candidate for a fuel. It should be noted that green hydrogen is not a primary energy source but an energy vector; a chemical process is required in order to produce it.

Hydrogen, the ‘renewable fuel’ is only renewable if the process used in its extraction is also renewable. It can be obtained using different methods such as molecular transformation, gasification and electrolysis that India will opt for to produce green hydrogen.

“India will set up separate manufacturing zones, waive inter-state power transmission charges for 25 years and provide priority connectivity to electric grids to green hydrogen and ammonia producers in a bid to incentivize production”, said the Un- ion power ministry.

Electrolysis is the process of dissolving the water molecule into oxygen and hydrogen, utilizing electrodes and an electrical current. Hydrogen kept in particular tanks is directed into a fuel cell to be converted into energy. There, it forms a new bond with air- borne oxygen, resulting in the generation of electricity. As a result, the only byproduct of the process is water, creating a clean, sustainable system where no CO2 is released in the process of generating electricity.

As a step toward the National Hydrogen Mission, the Indian government, earlier in February this year, announced the first phase of its Green Hydro- gen Policy. The project in- tends to assist India in achieving its climate goals while establishing it as a green hydrogen hub. By 2030, it seeks to produce five million metric tonnes per year (MMTPA) of green hydro- gen, along with the corresponding expansion of renewable energy capacity. Despite all that, green hydrogen is still not a part of our energy mixes due to several things that hamper it from happening, such as high production prices, significant investment requirement for implementation etc. Incentives in India’s green hydrogen policy will help in lowering the cost of green hydrogen production, but it will remain the key challenge to make it as affordable as grey hydrogen which is four to six times cheaper currently.

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