India will become export center of carbon free fuel with 'Hydrogen Policy'

Delhi : India has set a target of zero emissions by 2070, for which the country is continuously moving forward.  Not only this, India has set a target of 500 GW of Renewable Energy (RE) by 2030.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 'COP-26' emphasized his firm belief for the decarbonisation of India.  Now in this sequence, a 'Hydrogen Policy' has been prepared in the country in order to make India an export center of carbon-free fuel.  This is considered to be the most powerful and strong step in this direction so far.  It is being considered as another step towards the "National Hydrogen Mission".

 What is National Hydrogen Mission?

 It may be recalled, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had mentioned in her budget speech 2021-22 the proposal to launch a "National Hydrogen Mission" to generate hydrogen from green energy sources.  In this regard, the Finance Minister had told that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced plans to launch a comprehensive 'National Hydrogen Mission' while addressing the third RE-investment conference in November 2020.

 After this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'National Hydrogen Mission' on August 15, 2021, on the occasion of India's 75th Independence Day.  The mission aims to help the government meet its climate goals and make India a green hydrogen hub.  This will help in meeting the target of producing 5 million tonnes of 'Green Hydrogen' by 2030 and related development of renewable energy capacity.

 'Green Hydrogen' and 'Green Ammonia' policy notified

 Significantly, in order to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels and promote carbon-free fuel, the Central Government on Thursday made free transportation of renewable energy used in the manufacture of 'Green Hydrogen' and 'Green Ammonia' across the country.  Through this decision, the central government wants to make the country an export hub.  Presenting the National Hydrogen Policy, Union Minister of Energy and New and Renewable Energy Rajkumar Singh has said that through this the government aims to produce 5 million tonnes of 'Green Hydrogen' by 2030.

 Hydrogen and ammonia have been envisaged as the fuels of the future to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.  Green hydrogen and green ammonia fuels will be produced using energy from renewable energy.  This is one of the major requirements of the nation for environmentally sustainable energy conservation.  The central government is taking various measures to facilitate green hydrogen and green ammonia from fossil fuels and fossil fuel based feed stocks.  Notification of this policy is one of the major steps in this effort.

 What is Green Hydrogen?

 Green hydrogen is a clean source of energy.  Hydrogen and oxygen are separated from water to produce green hydrogen.  Electrolyzer is used in this process.  The electrolyzer uses renewable energy.  This includes both solar and wind energy.  Hydrogen is being used in many sectors.  These include chemicals, iron, steel, transport, heating and power.  The use of hydrogen does not cause pollution.

 All the companies of the world are interested in 'Green Hydrogen'

 For the past few years, the interest of the world's big oil and gas companies has also increased in 'Green Hydrogen'.  Experts are of the opinion that electricity cannot be used for everything.  In such a situation, the gas can be used for some industrial processes and heavy transportation.  Renewable hydrogen is the best gas in this.  It is completely clean.  With the reduction in the cost of 'renewable energy', the cost of production of 'green hydrogen' is also coming down.

 Hydrogen-ammonia production from plants

 Under the Hydrogen Policy, production of Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia from plants will be approved in a phased manner.  In this way hydrogen and ammonia will replace fossil fuels in future and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels in the country.

 Exemption to produce electricity in the country

 Under the Hydrogen Policy, companies have been allowed to set up power generation capacity through renewable energy sources either on their own or through a developer, anywhere in the country.  Along with this, they will also have the right to exchange electricity.  This electricity can be sent to any hydrogen production plant for free through open access to the transmission grid.  Along with this, hydrogen and ammonia producers will be able to save the remaining electricity after use with the distributor company for 30 days and will be able to take it when needed.

 Benefit for 25 years

 Under this policy, a company that starts a green hydrogen and ammonia production plant under this project before June 30, 2025, will be able to get free transportation of electricity and other benefits for the next 25 years.

 Facilitation to companies for export and transportation

 Such companies and power producers will be given priority in connectivity to the grid so that they do not face procedural delays.  Along with this, hydrogen and ammonia producers will also be allowed to build bunkers near the ports, which will make them easier to export and transport.

 Dependence on crude oil imports will be reduced

 According to the policy, the common people of the country will get clean fuel.  This will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reduce crude oil imports.  Another goal of this is to turn India into an export hub of Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia.

 Discounts available under Hydrogen Policy:

 Green Hydrogen / Ammonia Producers can buy renewable energy from power exchange anywhere or can set up renewable energy capacity on their own or through any other developer.
 Open access will be provided within 15 days of receipt of application.

 Green Hydrogen / Ammonia producer can store its non-consumptive renewable energy with the distribution company for 30 days and can also withdraw it if needed.  Distribution licensees can purchase and supply renewable energy at subsidized prices to manufacturers of Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia in their states, which will cover only the cost of purchase, wheeling charges and a small margin as determined by the State Commission.

 Manufacturers of Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia will also be given waiver of inter-state transmission fee for a period of 25 years for projects started before 30 June 2025.

 - Manufacturers of Green Hydrogen/Ammonia and Renewable Power Plants will be given grid connectivity on priority to avoid any procedural delays.

 - Benefit of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) for consumption of renewable energy will be incentivized to Hydrogen/Ammonia manufacturer and distribution licensee.

 To ensure ease of doing business, a single portal will be set up by MNRE to carry out all the activities including statutory clearances in a time bound manner.

 Connectivity at the production end and Green Hydrogen/Green ammonia manufacturing end to ISTS will be given priority for renewable energy capacity installed for the purpose of manufacturing Green Hydrogen/Green Ammonia.

 Manufacturers of Green Hydrogen/Green Ammonia will be allowed to set up bunkers near ports for storage of Green Ammonia for use by export/shipping.  The land for storage for this purpose will be made available by the concerned port authorities at the applicable fee.

 Major Goals:

 To increase the country's non-fossil fuel based energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030
 By 2030, 50% of the country's energy needs will be met using renewable energy sources
 The country will reduce the total estimated carbon emissions by one billion tonnes between now and 2030.
 – The carbon intensity of the economy will be reduced to less than 45% by 2030,
 The country will become carbon neutral and achieve the target of net zero emissions by 2070.

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