You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » Environment
Business Standard

What is green hydrogen? Can India make it affordable?

Green hydrogen's enhanced use can help India meet its clean energy goals. But they also come with high costs. What does India need to do here? This report tries to find some answers

Environment | hydrogen fuel | clean energy

Harshit Rakheja  |  New Delhi 

Green hydrogen is hydrogen that is produced using renewable energy through electrolysis. This method uses an electrical current to separate hydrogen from oxygen in water. If the electricity needed for electrolysis is generated from renewable sources such as solar or wind, the production of hydrogen in this way emits no greenhouse gasses.

Will green hydrogen form the core of India’s mix? Experts are optimistic about the potential of this ‘fuel of the future’. Like all fuels, hydrogen when burnt produces energy. But the by-product of burning hydrogen is water, making it the most environmentally friendly fuel.

This ‘green’ approach to producing hydrogen is good for sustainability. But it drives up costs, which could obviously hamper India’s plan to ramp up the production of green hydrogen. Add to that, only a handful of Indian companies manufacture electrolysers, which are used to generate green hydrogen.

Now, according to The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the cost of green hydrogen production is $5-$6 per kg. At this rate, it is not easy for industries like steel, fertilizer and long-range shipping to adopt this fuel. For that, we need green hydrogen prices to come down to at least $2 per kg. Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani has proposed that India should aim to bring down prices to $1 per kg. But this reduction in prices will not be possible unless we start manufacturing electrolysers on a much larger scale in India.

According to a recent report in Business Standard, the government could bring a Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing electrolysers for producing green hydrogen.

On the other hand, it does seem that in certain areas, the Centre is slow to get off the blocks despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterating the ‘green hydrogen’ commitment in his Independence Day speech this year. The central government is yet to come out with a policy, despite having launched the National Hydrogen Mission last year.

Setting up more manufacturing facilities, indigenous production of important components such as electrolysers, and production linked incentives such as the schemes being rolled out by the government for various sectors, will be the most important steps that Indian industry and policymakers need to take to help bring down costs per unit of green hydrogen output.


Watch Video

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, November 25 2021. 08:45 IST