Hydrogen, which is the most abundant element in the universe, is the next big thing in the planet’s fight against climate change. With its high calorific value and use in across industries, it holds promise to mitigate carbon emissions.
There are mainly two types of hydrogen, depending on how it is extracted, when it comes to industrial usage Grey hydrogen is the cheapest and the most common, but, it is also the most carbon-intense as it requires catalysts to break down hydrocarbon bonds in natural gas which result in the release of CO2. On the other hand, green hydrogen is produced by splitting water molecules, and this electrolysis is powered through renewable energy — thus having a minimal carbon footprint.
Till 2019, only five countries had a hydrogen strategy. A year on, nearly 20 have it. Some of the big players include Australia, Canada, the United States, Germany, and Japan. Private players, responding to this, plan to invest in at least 25 gigawatts (GW) of electrolyser capacity for green hydrogen by 2026 globally.
In February, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the National Hydrogen Mission. Soon after this, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy RK Singh said his ministry would auction for green hydrogen in three months or so.
Why Green Hydrogen
The cost of green hydrogen ranges between $3.6 and $5.8 per kilogram. A 2020 analysis by the hydrogen council found that hydrogen can unlock 15 percent of global energy demand if priced at ~$1.80 per kg.