Financial Express Editorial: Unlocking the potential of green hydrogen: Basics Explained

Recent months saw a rise in prices of oil, natural gas, and fertilizers, due to global developments, Green hydrogen is an emerging option that will help reduce India’s vulnerability to such price shocks.


Green hydrogen is hydrogen that is produced using renewable energy through electrolysis; uses an electrical current to separate hydrogen from oxygen in the water. If the electricity needed for electrolysis is generated from renewable sources such as solar or wind, the production of hydrogen in this way emits no greenhouse gasses.

NEED OF THE HOUR: Setting up more manufacturing facilities, indigenous production of important components such as electrolyzers, and production linked incentives by the Government.


  • World’s Largest Renewable Energy Expansion Programme 175 Gw Till 2022
  • Renewable Energy Has A Share Of 26.53% In The Total Installed Generation Capacity In The Country
  • India now at 4th Global Position for overall installed renewable energy capacity
  • The government of India has set targets to reduce India’s total projected carbon emission by 1 billion tonnes by 2030, reduce the carbon intensity of the nation’s economy by less than 45% by the end of the decade, achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 and expand India’s renewable, at CoP26, energy installed capacity to 500 GW by 2030.

As of 31 December 2021, non-fossil-based installed energy capacity to 157.32 GW which is 40.1% of the total installed electricity capacity of 392.01 GW.   The following is the break up of total installed capacity for Renewables, as of 31 December 2021:

Wind power: 40.08 GW

Solar Power: 49.34 GW

BioPower: 10.61 GW

Small Hydro Power: 4.83 GW

Large Hydro: 46.51 GW/ while its nuclear energy based installed electricity capacity stands at 6.78 GW.


Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM): To provide energy and water security, de-dieselise the farm sector and also generate additional income for farmers by producing solar power,

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: On 28.04.2021, the Government introduced, Production Linked Incentive Scheme “National Programme on High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules” with an outlay of Rs. 4500 crores to support and promote manufacturing of high-efficiency solar PV modules, including the upstage vertical components like cells, wafers, ingots and polysilicon in India and thus reduce the import dependence in Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) sector.

Solar Parks Scheme: To facilitate large-scale grid-connected solar power projects, a scheme for “Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects” is under implementation with a target capacity of 40 GW capacity by March 2022. Solar parks provide solar power developers with a plug-and-play model, by facilitating necessary infrastructure like land, power evacuation facilities, road connectivity, water facility etc. along with all statutory clearances.

15.08.2021, Prime Minister announced the launch of the National Hydrogen Mission and stated the goal to make India a global hub for Green Hydrogen production and export. The draft National Green Hydrogen Mission document is under inter-ministerial consultations.

The Mission proposes a framework for inter alia creating demand for Green Hydrogen in sectors such as petroleum refining and fertilizer production; support for indigenous manufacturing of critical technologies; Research & Development activities; and an enabling policy and regulatory framework.

  • Issues/Challenges ahead
  • Mobilization of the necessary finance and investment on competitive terms:
  • The ongoing efforts for mitigating investment risks, and easing approval processes would also need to be strengthened.
  • Land acquisition: Land acquisition is one of the major challenges in renewable power development. Identification of land with RE potential, its conversion (if needed), clearance from land ceiling Act, the decision on land lease rent, clearance from revenue department, and other such clearances take time. State governments have to play a major role in the acquisition of land for RE projects.
  • RE can only be generated intermittently, and it cannot be stored in large quantities;Battery technology cannot store electricity at a grid scale.
  • Heavy trucks,exception to electric vehicles,in terms of major oil burnt
  • Electric vehicles require large quantities of lithium and cobalt that India lacks.
  • While electric cars and two-wheelers get a lot of visibility, much of India’s oil is burnt in heavy trucks and Lithium batteries are not viable for trucks
  • Integrating larger share of renewables with the grid;
  • Enabling penetration of renewables in the so called hard to decarbonize sectors.


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