[Answered] Evaluate the potential of green hydrogen in transforming India’s energy landscape. Discuss the technological, economic, and environmental challenges that need to be addressed to leverage green hydrogen for India’s sustainable development.

Introduction: Contextual Introduction

Body: Highlight the benefits and challenges associated with green hydrogen.

Conclusion: Way forward

Green hydrogen is hydrogen generated through the process of electrolysis, which involves splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyzer powered by renewable energy sources. This method is widely regarded as an emission-free means of hydrogen production, as it relies on green energy, utilizes water as its input, and produces no carbon emissions when consumed.

Potential Benefits

  • Decarbonization: Green hydrogen presents a clean substitute for fossil fuels across critical sectors such as industry, transportation, and power generation. This shift holds the potential to substantially diminish carbon emissions and align with India’s objectives for clean energy.
  • Energy Security: Embracing green hydrogen diminishes dependence on imported fossil fuels, thereby bolstering India’s energy security and self-reliance.
  • Economic Growth: The National Green Hydrogen Mission endeavors to position India as a leading global center for green hydrogen production and export, fostering the emergence of new industries and employment opportunities.
  • Versatility: Green Hydrogen can be transformed into electricity or synthetic gas and used for commercial, industrial, or mobility purposes.

Challenges

  • Technology: Electrolyzers, the apparatus responsible for splitting water into hydrogen using electricity, are still in the developmental stage and come at a high cost. Extensive research and development efforts are imperative to drive down expenses and enhance efficiency.
  • Cost Competitiveness: Presently, green hydrogen remains more expensive than conventional alternatives. To render it economically viable, governmental incentives combined with technological breakthroughs are imperative.
  • Renewable Energy Integration: Enabling large-scale green hydrogen production necessitates a significant expansion of India’s solar and wind energy capacities. This expansion is fundamental to meeting the energy demands of the process.
  • Storage and Transportation: It is essential to pioneer efficient and economical techniques for storing and transporting hydrogen to facilitate its widespread adoption.

Conclusion

The latest efforts by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to unveil projects worth Rs 496 crore to assess the viability of green hydrogen as a vehicle fuel or to develop necessary infrastructure such as refueling stations is a step in the right direction. Leading Indian commercial vehicle manufacturers are significantly increasing their efforts to develop hydrogen-powered trucks and buses. They are focusing on ramping up research and development and expanding manufacturing capacities to meet this goal.

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