Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen produced through a process that uses renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, or hydroelectric power, to power the electrolysis of water. The electrolysis process involves splitting water molecules (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2), without generating carbon emissions. This method contrasts with traditional hydrogen production, such as steam methane reforming, which relies on fossil fuels and generates greenhouse gas emissions.
In India, the green hydrogen market is expected to be worth $30-35 billion by 2035-2040 (assuming optimistic demand). In India, the green hydrogen market (sales) is expected to reach $10 billion by 2030 and $35 billion by 2040 (per annum estimates). Major industries like as transportation and industrial production rely heavily on imported fossil fuels. Today, hydrogen is required for a variety of reasons. Green hydrogen production using renewable energy can play a critical part in low-carbon and self-sufficient economic routes. The use of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives, the machinery and technology used, and the infrastructure development associated with it in many new programs in the country, such as green fuel, green energy, green mobility, green farming, green buildings and equipment, and policies for efficient use of this energy source in various economic sectors, will mean that the industry is bound to see exponential growth in the demand for Green Hydrogen and its derivatives, the machinery and technology used, and the infrastructure development associated with it[/vc_column_text]
The key steps in green hydrogen production[/vc_column][/vc_row]
- lectrolysis: Renewable electricity (from sources like solar or wind power) powers an electrolyzer, which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The process separates hydrogen from water, generating ‘green’ hydrogen without producing greenhouse gases or other harmful emissions.
- Renewable Energy Sources: The renewable energy sources used for electrolysis are crucial in making the overall process environmentally friendly. By utilizing solar, wind, or hydroelectric power, the entire hydrogen production cycle becomes sustainable and emission-free. Green hydrogen holds immense promise as a clean, sustainable energy carrier. It can be used in various sectors and industries, including transportation, power generation, industrial processes, and energy storage. The widespread adoption of green hydrogen is integral to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change by providing a versatile and low-carbon energy source.
Green Hydrogen Manufacturing
Green hydrogen manufacturing involves the production of hydrogen through an environmentally sustainable process using renewable energy sources. The process typically involves the following steps:
Electrolysis is the core process used to produce green hydrogen. Water (H2O) is separated into its components—hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2)—through the application of an electric current. This occurs within an electrolyzer, a device that contains an anode and a cathode separated by an electrolyte.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY INPUT
The electricity used in the electrolysis process comes from renewable sources such as solar, wind, or hydroelectric power. These sources ensure that the overall hydrogen production cycle is environmentally friendly and does not generate carbon emissions
- TYPES OF ELECTROLYZERS
There are different types of electrolyzers used for hydrogen production, including alkaline electrolyzers, polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzers, and solid oxide electrolyzers. Each type has its advantages in terms of efficiency, scalability, and operating conditions.
- SCALING UP PRODUCTION
Green hydrogen manufacturing involves setting up electrolysis plants that can scale up production to meet demand. These plants may range from small-scale installations to large industrial facilities.
- STORAGE AND DISTRIBUTION
Once produced, green hydrogen needs to be stored and distributed. Storage methods
can include compressed gas, liquefaction, or conversion into other forms such as ammonia for easier transport. Infrastructure for transporting and utilizing hydrogen as an energy carrier also needs to be developed.
Challenges in Green Hydrogen Manufacturing
- Cost: One of the primary challenges is the cost of production. Currently, green hydrogen is more expensive to produce compared to hydrogen generated from fossil fuel-based processes.
- Efficiency: Improving the efficiency of electrolysis processes and reducing energy losses is crucial to make green hydrogen more cost-effective.
- Infrastructure: Developing infrastructure for large-scale hydrogen production, storage, and distribution is essential for its widespread adoption.
- Technological Advancements: Research and development are ongoing to improve the performance and reduce the costs of electrolyzers and associated technologies
The future of green hydrogen manufacturing in India and worldwide largely depends on advancements in technology, reduced production costs, supportive government policies, and collaborative efforts among various stakeholders to drive sustainable and efficient production processes. As technology advances and economies of scale are achieved, green hydrogen manufacturing is poised to play a pivotal role in transitioning towards a more sustainable and low-carbon energy future.
National Green Hydrogen Mission
Green hydrogen can be created from biomass by thermochemical and biological processes, as well as by electrolyzing water with renewable energy. The nation currently produces relatively little hydrogen from renewable resources. A number of organizations have declared their intentions to establish Green Hydrogen/Green ammonia-producing facilities in India. These are still in the early stages, though. The two main expenses associated with producing green hydrogen are those related to the electrolysers and the input of renewable energy. The total cost of delivered green hydrogen for any given application would also include the expenses of capital, water supply and purification, distribution and storage, conversion of hydrogen to appropriate derivatives, and supporting infrastructure.
Components of the Green Hydrogen Mission
- Facilitating demand creation through exports and domestic utilization
- Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) programme to support
domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and production of Green Hydrogen
- Pilot Projects for green steel, mobility, shipping, decentralized energy applications, hydrogen
production from biomass, hydrogen storage, etc.
- Development of Green Hydrogen Hubs
- Support for infrastructure developments
- Establishing a robust framework of regulations and standards
- Research & Development programme
- Skill development programme
- Public awareness and outreach programme
Future of Green Hydrogen in IndiaThe potential for green hydrogen in India lies not only in reducing carbon emissions but also in fostering energy independence, creating new employment opportunities, and contributing to the nation’s goals of sustainable and clean energy practices.The future of green hydrogen in India holds immense promise, driven by a strong commitment to clean energy and sustainability. Here are some
aspects that could define the future of green hydrogen in the country:
- Government Initiatives
The Indian government has shown a keen interest in promoting green hydrogen. The proposed National Hydrogen Energy Mission aims to provide a roadmap for scaling up hydrogen production and usage across various sectors, signifying a dedicated commitment to advancing the technology.
- Technological Advancements
Ongoing research and development efforts in India and globally are focused on enhancing electrolysis technologies, reducing costs, and improving the efficiency of green hydrogen
production methods. Advancements in electrolyzer technology are crucial for making green hydrogen more competitive in the energy market.
- Investment and Partnerships
There’s growing interest and investment in green hydrogen production. Partnerships between the government, private sectors, and international collaborations are being forged to expedite the development and adoption of green hydrogen technologies.
- Integration with Renewable Energy
India’s vast potential for solar and wind energy provides a significant advantage in harnessing these renewable sources to power electrolysis for green hydrogen production. As the costs of renewable energy continue to decline, it will further enhance the attractiveness of green hydrogen.
- Sectoral Integration
Industries such as steel, chemicals, transportation, and power generation are likely to increasingly adopt green hydrogen. The shift toward low-carbon and zero-emission practices aligns with
global sustainability goals.
- Infrastructure Development
The establishment of hydrogen refueling stations, storage facilities, and an integrated hydrogen supply chain will be crucial for the widespread adoption of green hydrogen.
Promotion of Green Hydrogen
- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE):
MNRE is a key government agency responsible for the development and promotion of renewable energy in India. It plays a crucial role in shaping policies and schemes related to green hydrogen.
- National Hydrogen Energy Mission:
The National Hydrogen Energy Mission is a significant initiative by the Government of India to promote green hydrogen. It provides a comprehensive framework for the development
and utilization of hydrogen
- Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA):
IREDA is a financial institution that supports renewable energy projects, and it plays a role in
financing green hydrogen initiatives.
- NITI Aayog :
NITI Aayog is involved in policy formulation and strategic planning. It has been actively working on recommendations and strategies to promote green hydrogen as a sustainable energy solution.
- Indian Oil Corporation (IOC):
IOC has announced plans for a Hydrogen Energy Mission focusing on green hydrogen production, storage, and utilization. The corporation’s initiatives could contribute significantly to the growth of the green hydrogen sector in India.
- Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC):
These financial institutions have historically supported renewable energy projects and could
extend their support to green hydrogen initiatives.
- International Solar Alliance (ISA):
ISA, a treaty-based intergovernmental organization, focuses on promoting solar energy.
As solar power is often involved in green hydrogen production, ISA’s efforts indirectly contribute to the growth of green hydrogen in India.
- Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cells Programme by MNRE:
MNRE has been involved in the development of a Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cells Programme, which includes research, development, and demonstration projects related to hydrogen and fuel cells.
- The Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT program):
This is akin to a Production Linked Incentive scheme for the Green Hydrogen sector and it offers fiscal benefits for a duration of three and five years for production of Green Hydrogen and manufacturing of Electrolysers respectively.