National Hydrogen Mission can be a game changer for India’s rising energy demands. Discuss the benefits and challenges associated.

Finance Minister in budget of 2021-22 announced a National Hydrogen Mission to give a boost to Green Hydrogen fuel in India’s energy mix.

India’s current energy status:

  • Goal – 450 GW by 2030.
  • Current status – 136 GW, 38% of total installed capacity.

Rising energy demands: Reasons

  • Rapid urbanization.
  • Increasing lifestyle changes, (270 million out of poverty, between 2005 to 2016, according to UNDP).
  • Boost to manufacturing sector – Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Make in India.
  • World’s services exporter.
  • Rise of disruptive technologies like AI and Big Data needs energy in processing.

National hydrogen mission: A game changer

  1. Features:
    • Green hydrogen generation
    • Hydrogen economy
    • Increased share of hydrogen in energy mix
  2. Benefits of hydrogen for India’s energy demand:
    • Fulfill India’s INDC commitments of reducing fossil fuel mix in India’s energy basket.
    • Reduce dependence on import of fuel for strategic autonomy.
    • Save India’s Forex reserves through local fuel dependence.
    • Reduce problem of air pollution in India.
    • Abundant natural resource and favourable geographical conditions for its production.
    • Cost effective nature of hydrogen ensures energy security and scalability.
    • Sustainable development by powering remote areas.

Challenges:

  • Expensive research and development on scaling is needed.
  • High Initial investment in hydrogen fuel cells.
  • Storage and transport infrastructure would require Investments.
  • Green hydrogen – cost of carbon capture and storage.

The PPP model for investment as well as policy boost can help the mission succeed to become a game changer in energy sector.

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