Fresh Batches for IAS / PCS / HAS / HCS starting from 23 May and 6 June | Course Delivery Options: Online & Offline. We are offering following optionals: Public Administration, Sociology, History,PSIR, Psychology. For registration call at 8699010909.

Viability of Green Hydrogen

Context

  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced to support efforts to test the viability of green hydrogen as a fuel for cars and heavy vehicles.

Scheme Guidelines for Pilot Project

  • The scheme will support the development of technologies for the use of Green Hydrogen as a fuel in Buses, Trucks, and 4-wheelers, based on fuel cell/internal combustion engine-based propulsion technology.
  • The other thrust area for the scheme is to support the development of infrastructure such as hydrogen refueling stations.
  • The scheme will also seek to support any other innovative use of hydrogen for reducing carbon emissions in the transport sector, such as blending methanol/ethanol, based on green hydrogen and other synthetic fuels derived from green hydrogen in automobile fuels.

What is Hydrogen?

  • Hydrogen is the chemical element with the symbol H and atomic number 1.
  • Hydrogen is the lightest element and the most abundant chemical substance in the universe, constituting roughly 75% of all normal matter.
  • It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, and highly combustible gas.

Extraction of Hydrogen

  • Hydrogen exists in combination with other elements.
  • Hence, for using it as a source of energy, it has to be extracted from naturally occurring compounds like water (which is a combination of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom).
  • Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen that is produced using renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, or hydropower, through a process called electrolysis.
  • Electrolysis involves splitting water (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) using an electric current.
  • When this electricity comes from renewable sources, the hydrogen produced is considered “green” because the overall process has a minimal environmental impact.
  • Grey Hydrogen: It involves extracting hydrogen from natural gas through a process called steam methane reforming (SMR).
  • This process releases carbon dioxide (CO2) as a byproduct, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Blue Hydrogen: It involves capturing and storing the CO2 emissions generated during the production of hydrogen from natural gas.

Significance of Green Hydrogen

  • Zero Emissions: Unlike conventional hydrogen production methods that rely on fossil fuels, green hydrogen production emits no greenhouse gases or pollutants, making it a zero-emission energy carrier.
  • Energy Storage: Green hydrogen can serve as a means of storing excess renewable energy generated during periods of low demand for later use, helping to balance the grid and enhance energy security.
  • Versatile Applications: Hydrogen can be used as a fuel in various sectors including transportation, industry, and heating.
  • Economic Opportunities: The transition to green hydrogen presents significant economic opportunities, including job creation, investment in new infrastructure, and the growth of related industries such as electrolyzer manufacturing and hydrogen fuel cell technology.
  • Climate Mitigation: By replacing fossil fuels with green hydrogen, countries can reduce their carbon emissions and contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change.

Challenges

  • Risks associated with transportation: Hydrogen in gaseous form is highly inflammable and difficult to transport, thereby making safety a primary concern.
  • Higher Cost: Green hydrogen production is currently more expensive than conventional methods, primarily due to the high cost of renewable energy sources and electrolysis technology.
  • Lack of fuel station infrastructure: India will need to compete with around 500 operational hydrogen stations in the world today which are mostly in Europe, followed by Japan and South Korea.

Way Ahead

  • Increasing renewable energy use across all economic spheres is central to India’s Energy Transition.
  • Hydrogen offers the possibility to decarbonize applications, end uses, and sectors that have been traditionally difficult to tackle with other clean energy solutions.
  • Hydrogen is expected to be used widely in the transportation sector in the coming years and as a large and growing market for both vehicles and energy.
  • India stands to gain significantly from the large-scale adoption of green hydrogen as a vehicular fuel.