India keen to augment hydrogen supply chain and is looking for prospects about green hydrogen as transport fuel

India will augment its hydrogen supply chain infrastructure as it seeks to speed up plans to produce the carbon-free fuel, which may have an advantage over other non-fossil fuels, according to Ex-Oil Minister Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan. “Hydrogen has a lot of potential as a future energy source,” he added. “Hydrogen’s popularity stems from a simple fact: whenever it substitutes fossil fuels, whether in a fuel cell or burnt to generate heat, it reduces global warming.”

Mr. Pradhan went on to say that several measures are being made to increase the use of hydrogen in India’s energy mix, including the announcement in the budget FY22 of a National Hydrogen Mission to develop a hydrogen roadmap for the country.

He claims that Indian refineries are intending to use surplus hydrogen capacity to fulfil the first demand for hydrogen mainstreaming.

One such project is ongoing at Indian Oil’s Gujarat refinery, where the creation of blue hydrogen will be achieved by combining hydrogen synthesis from natural gas and its hyphenation with carbon capture technology.

Recently, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, has stated that the government is looking at green hydrogen as a viable transportation fuel, adding that any benefits granted to electric vehicles may also be extended to green hydrogen.

Mr. Gadkari also stated at a symposium on ‘Hydrogen and Gas Based Mobility’ that India can lead the world in green hydrogen generation because to its enormous solar, wind, hydro, and waste potential.

The minister for road transport and highways remarked that the government is dedicated to green hydrogen and that he would address the matter with the finance ministry and the Niti Aayog.

Green hydrogen, according to Mr. Gadkari, may be a perfect source of energy for energy-intensive industries such as refining, steel, cement, fertiliser, mining, and industrial heating.

“Over time, green hydrogen as an energy carrier can replace part of our energy imports,” he added, citing the fact that green hydrogen (H2) is created by splitting water (H2O) using renewable energy.

Mr. Gadkari pointed out that electricity costs account for 70% of green hydrogen production costs, thus surplus electricity from renewable energy sources can help green hydrogen production economics.

“We’re striving to develop an integrated road map and prospects for alternative clean and green transportation fuels like as electricity, bio-CNG, LNG, ethanol, methanol, and hydrogen fuel cells,” he added.

India should concentrate on hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle technology for big long-distance trucks, buses, marine, and aviation applications, according to Mr. Gadkari.

He said that the hydrogen ecosystem has the potential to establish a US$ 20 billion green technology industry in India, as well as increase domestic job creation, and that India may become a net exporter of hydrogen in the future to European, Southeast Asian, and African nations.

He also mentioned that H-CNG (hydrogen combined with CNG) is being tested, which will aid the transportation industry in understanding how to manage hydrogen.

On July 29th, 2021, National Thermal Power Corporation Renewable Energy Ltd (NTPC REL), NTPC’s wholly owned subsidiary has invited a domestic tender to set up India’s first Green Hydrogen Fuelling Station in Leh, Ladakh. The sale of bid documents would commence from July 31st, 2021.

The tender follows the recent tender floated by NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN) for procurement of Fuel Cell Buses for Ladakh. NTPC REL and NVVN would jointly be executing the Green Mobility Project in Union Territory of Ladakh. A dedicated 1.25 MW Solar plant is also being set up in Leh by NTPC REL to make the Hydrogen Fuelling Station completely green. The solar plant contract is expected to be awarded within a month.

NTPC REL has earlier signed a landmark MoU with Union Territory of Ladakh for development of Green Hydrogen technologies in the high altitude region. The successful completion of the project would usher in a new era of emission free transport in and around Leh and India would be amongst few countries to take a lead in this coveted space.

The project will be a definitive step towards building a cleaner and greener ecosystem in the region. The successful execution of the project will also ease the surface transport issues of the union territory of Ladakh and will prove to be a major boost to tourism in the region.

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