Hydrogen was not mentioned earlier during the discussion on energy in India. But after the budget speech of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in February, there was a lot of discussion about hydrogen as a source of energy. She announced a fund of Rs 800 crore for Mission Hydrogen. The announcement got the market excited about hydrogen. While delivering a speech from The Red Fort on 15 August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Now the future belongs to Green Hydrogen. I announce today the establishment of the National Hydrogen Mission. We have to establish India as a global hub for the production and export of hydrogen”.
In mid-September, the Adani Group also announced the world’s largest green hydrogen installation. NTPC has also discussed setting up a green hydrogen fueling station in Ladakh.
Green Hydrogen Plant
Hydrogen is abundantly available in the atmosphere. But being lighter than air, it cannot be used as a gas. It has to be separated from other compounds for hydrogen to be used. We have two ways to do this process. One process is called steam methane reforming, and the other is electrolysis. Electricity is consumed more in electrolysis. About 50 units of electricity are required to produce one kilogram of hydrogen. It does not include the power consumption for running the entire plant, storage, and transportation. If electricity is produced from living fuels to produce hydrogen, then what’s new in it?
Types of hydrogen
When the required amount of electricity is produced by renewable energy sources, it is called green hydrogen. Its by-product is water. In this way, the whole process is done with the help of fuel that is favorable to the environment. Hydrogen gas has several forms depending on the method of its production. If hydrogen is produced through fossil fuels, it is called gray hydrogen. When hydrogen is produced with fossil fuels with carbon capture technology, it is called blue hydrogen. When hydrogen is produced using nuclear energy, it is called pink hydrogen.
Cost of Green Hydrogen
Production of Green Hydrogen is justified from all points of view, but its production cost and transportation cost are the two significant challenges. Production of gray hydrogen from fossil fuels costs between $1 to $2, while production of green hydrogen costs between $4 and $6 per kilogram. It is estimated that the green hydrogen plant will be ready by 2030 as an alternative to fuel-based hydrogen. Mukesh Ambani had expressed the hope in his annual meeting that the cost of green hydrogen will be $1 per kilogram after a decade.
Overall, the point is that rapid production of green hydrogen will require large-scale production of electricity from renewable energy sources. Hydrogen will be used for industry, transportation, and power-based works. To avoid the hassle of transportation, about 85% of the total hydrogen produced is used locally. It is used as a metal, ammonia, refiner in the industrial industry. Rapid reduction in the cost of hydrogen is an admirable national goal. The government also needs that they come forward for such help. Hydrogen demand in India at present is around 6 million tonnes. It needs to increase it 10 times to achieve the goal of zero carbon emissions. It can revolutionize industry, electricity, and transport.