- Hydrogen is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic and highly combustible gaseous substance. It is also the lightest, simplest and most abundant member of the family of chemical elements in the universe.
- Hydrogen is a clean fuel and an efficient energy carrier. It is emerging as an important source of energy since it has zero carbon content in contrast to hydrocarbons which have net carbon content between 75 and 85 per cent. When burnt, Hydrogen produces water as a by-product and is, therefore, environmentally benign.
- It has huge potential in the transportation sector as a direct replacement to fossil fuels, as it is possible to store hydrogen on-board.
How is Hydrogen Generated?
- Hydrogen (H2) is one of the most abundant elements available on earth. However, it is not found in elemental form.
- The richest source of hydrogen is water. Hydrogen is also found in organic compounds and fossil fuels like petroleum, natural gas, coal and biomass.
- Hydrogen for commercial use is produced from catalytic steam reforming of natural gas, naphtha and other hydrocarbons, partial oxidation of hydrocarbons, gasification of coal and electrolysis of water.
- The energy industry refers to different “types” of hydrogen to differentiate how it is produced.
What is Green Hydrogen?
- Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis using renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind or hydel power. It is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity.
- That makes green hydrogen the cleanest option – hydrogen from renewable energy sources without CO2 as a by-product.
Why in News?
- The Union Cabinet has approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission. The initial outlay for the Mission will be Rs.19,744 crore.
- The Mission will result in the following likely outcomes by 2030:
- Development of green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 MMT (Million Metric Tonne) per annum with an associated renewable energy capacity addition of about 125 GW in the country
- Over Rs. Eight lakh crore in total investments
- Creation of over Six lakh jobs
- Cumulative reduction in fossil fuel imports over Rs. One lakh crore
- Abatement of nearly 50 MMT of annual greenhouse gas emissions
- The Mission will facilitate demand creation, production, utilization and export of Green Hydrogen.
- Under the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT), two distinct financial incentive mechanisms – targeting domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and production of Green Hydrogen – will be provided under the Mission.
- The Mission will also support pilot projects in emerging end-use sectors and production pathways. Regions capable of supporting large scale production and/or utilization of Hydrogen will be identified and developed as Green Hydrogen Hubs.