India is poised to take a momentous step towards a sustainable future as a proposal to mandate the use of green hydrogen as feedstock in “hard-to-abate sectors” like refineries and fertilizers is set to be presented before the union cabinet. Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh, announced this significant development on August 24.
With ambitions to reduce carbon emissions and harness the potential of green hydrogen, India’s move could have far-reaching implications for its industrial landscape and contribute to global environmental goals.
The proposal to compel “hard-to-abate sectors” to adopt green hydrogen as feedstock is not just a regulatory measure; it represents a paradigm shift in how industries interact with energy sources. Green hydrogen, produced through renewable energy sources, stands as a potent solution to mitigate carbon emissions that have been historically linked to these sectors. This mandate aims to instigate a transformative change that aligns with India’s ambitious goals for sustainable development.
The introduction of such mandates could usher in a dual advantage for the developers of green hydrogen and its derivatives. Besides catering to a robust domestic market, these mandates hold the potential to position India as a global leader in green hydrogen production and export. This strategy aligns with the country’s efforts to leverage its renewable energy capabilities on the global stage and tap into the burgeoning demand for sustainable energy solutions.
One of the pivotal arguments in favor of mandating green hydrogen usage is its environmental superiority over traditional natural gas. Minister Singh pointed out that every kilogram of hydrogen derived from natural gas emits a staggering 11 kilograms of carbon dioxide. In contrast, green hydrogen production is intrinsically linked to renewable energy sources and emits zero carbon dioxide during the process. This transition could significantly contribute to India’s efforts to lower its carbon footprint and meet its climate commitments.
The groundwork for implementing such mandates is already in place. The National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM) document outlines provisions for these mandates, and the amendment of the Energy Conservation Act in December 2022 has paved the way for their enforcement. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that these mandates might have implications for product prices, with industry insiders suggesting potential impacts on commodities like petrol and diesel.
Minister RK Singh highlighted India’s rapid strides in the green hydrogen sector. In under a year, the country has built an impressive pipeline of 5.8 million tons of green hydrogen and 37 million tons of green ammonia production. These figures encompass existing orders and those in the pipeline, underscoring India’s commitment to transitioning to sustainable energy sources on a massive scale.