According to ES Ranganathan, former Marketing Director of GAIL, India possesses abundant renewable energy resources, presenting a significant opportunity to produce Green Hydrogen on a global scale. He believes that India's potential can be harnessed to establish a robust Green Hydrogen ecosystem. In line with this vision, the National Green Hydrogen Mission is set to provide a comprehensive action plan, fostering a systemic response to the opportunities and challenges inherent in this burgeoning sector. Ranganathan emphasizes the mission's goal of catalysing the growth of Green Hydrogen and creating a favourable environment for its development in India.

In recognition of its vast potential, the Union Cabinet, under the leadership of Hon'ble PM Shri Narendra Modi, approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission on January 4th, 2022. This mission, supported by an initial outlay of Rs 19,744 crore, aims to position India as a global hub for the production, utilization, and export of green hydrogen. The allocated funds include Rs 17,490 crore for the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) program, Rs 1,466 crore for Pilot Projects, Rs 400 crore for Research and Development initiatives, and Rs 388 crore for other vital components such as skill development. This comprehensive mission reflects India's commitment to harnessing the potential of green hydrogen and establishing itself as a prominent player in the global green energy landscape.

As the lightest and most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen holds a significant position. However, in its elemental form, it is uncommon in nature and is typically extracted from other compounds that contain hydrogen. ES Ranganathan says, “Hydrogen plays a pivotal role as an essential industrial fuel, offering a wide array of applications encompassing ammonia production (a critical fertilizer), steel manufacturing, refineries, and electricity generation. However, the current predominant form of hydrogen production relies on coal, resulting in what is commonly known as 'black or brown' hydrogen. Conversely, 'grey hydrogen' is derived from natural gas, while 'blue hydrogen' is sourced from fossil fuels with carbon emissions captured through carbon-capture processes. On the other hand, 'green hydrogen' refers to hydrogen produced through electrolysis, where water is split into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity generated from renewable energy sources like solar or wind power”. This is the most environmentally sustainable way of producing hydrogen, further adds Mr Ranganathan.

By 2030, the Green Hydrogen Mission is expected to yield several significant outcomes. These include the establishment of a green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 million metric tonnes (MMT) per year, accompanied by a corresponding addition of renewable energy capacity amounting to approximately 125 gigawatts (GW) across the country. Furthermore, this ambitious mission is projected to attract total investments exceeding Rs. eight lakh crore, fostering substantial economic growth. ES Ranganathan says, “In terms of employment generation, the mission is anticipated to create over six lakh jobs, providing opportunities for a diverse range of professionals. Additionally, the cumulative effect of these endeavours will lead to a reduction in fossil fuel imports by over Rs. one lakh crore, contributing to greater energy independence”. Lastly, the Green Hydrogen Mission is expected to make a significant environmental impact by abating nearly 50 MMT of annual greenhouse gas emissions, promoting a sustainable and greener future.

ES Ranganathan, while acknowledging the potential of green hydrogen development, highlighted the challenges associated with its nascent stage globally. He emphasized that for India to emerge as a significant producer, it must establish the essential infrastructure to facilitate the various intermediary steps in the process. One crucial aspect is the need to introduce incentives that encourage industrial hydrogen users to embrace green hydrogen. Additionally, the development of robust supply chains encompassing pipelines, tankers, intermediate storage facilities, and efficient last-mile distribution networks is essential. To support the growth of a viable green hydrogen economy, an effective skill development program is crucial, ensuring that a large number of workers can receive suitable training to adapt to the evolving industry landscape. By addressing these challenges, India can position itself as a leader in green hydrogen production and pave the way for a sustainable energy future.

India's recent developments in the green hydrogen sector reflect the country's commitment to sustainable and clean energy solutions. These developments not only contribute to India's own energy transition but also position the country as a key player in the global green hydrogen market. As the demand for clean energy rises worldwide, India's focus on green hydrogen is expected to spur innovation, attract investment, and drive the country's transition to a greener and more sustainable future

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