Hydrogen-based energy production can play a key role in a clean, secure, and affordable energy future. In this context, identify the potential and opportunities for utilizing hydrogen-based technologies. What are the challenges that need to be addressed to fulfill the potential?

Hydrogen-based energy production makes use of hydrogen fuel cells by electrochemical reactions to generate heat & energy.

Potential and opportunities for utilizing Hydrogen energy:

  • Source of clean energy – Hydrogen emits no greenhouse gases, unlike other fuels like coal and petroleum.
  • Widely available – Hydrogen is abundant in nature and therefore a sustainable source of energy.
  • Higher energy density – Hydrogen is 20-30% times more efficient than petroleum and can be even used to fuel rockets.
  • Curbing India’s imports – Since India has to rely on 85% imports for crude oil, Hydrogen use can save India’s foreign reserves.
  • Ease of setting up and making changes – Its modular arrangement ensures it can be set up in a decentralized manner to remote locations and changes can be made.
  • Faster recharging of hydrogen cells compared to electrical vehicles.

Challenges:

  • Reliance on fossil fuels to separate hydrogen from water adds to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Highly inflammable and thus, it must be cooled and stored at high pressure inside pipelines.
  • The odourless nature of hydrogen makes it difficult to detect leakages.
  • Need for adequate pipeline infrastructure to transport and store hydrogen energy.

The Indian government recently launched the Green Hydrogen mission to support its development. It is a step in the right direction.

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