India plans green hydrogen auction

Minister Singh 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.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.

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 the production of green hydrogen from the company’s renewable energy plants and its use in transportation. It has also planned pilot projects to run five hydrogen-cell electric buses and five cars in Delhi and Leh. In its laboratories, NTPC is designing a prototype for hard/seawater electrolysis and reactors for hydrogen production through the photo-electrochemical process.

By FE Bureau.


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