National Hydrogen Energy Mission: Govt plans green hydrogen auction

Closely after Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharam proposed the introduction of a “National Hydrogen Energy Mission” in her budget speech, the government has started preparations for holding auctions for green hydrogen, which is hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources. Union power minister RK Singh said on Friday that the government is planning to call for green hydrogen bids in “4-5 months”.

The minister added that talks are on with other ministries to increase the penetration of domestic green hydrogen in industries such as fertilizer, steel and oil refineries, which otherwise import natural gas and ammonia to produce hydrogen. There are also discussions to put a mandate on using around 10% of domestic green hydrogen in such industries.

“Once we start with this in three years, green hydrogen will become competitive,” Singh added. The minister was speaking at the launch of the “Go Electric” campaign to spread awareness on the benefits of electric vehicles and electric cooking in the country, which is seen to reduce import dependency by replacing oil and gas with domestic fuel based energy. Speaking at the same event, Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari proposed that the government can provide subsidies for buying electric cooking equipment instead of cooking gas to cut fuel imports.

Hydrogen technology is being explored by the government to reduce dependence on imported products . According to experts, as against the more than 90 minutes it takes a heavy battery electric vehicle to charge, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can be charged in 5-15 minutes.

State-run power generator NTPC has already signed an MoU with Siemens for production of green hydrogen from the company’s renewable energy plants and its use in transportation.

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