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India planning RPO-like obligation for Hydrogen, investment of $200 mn: MNRE

India is planning to bring in an RPO-like obligation for Hydrogen and an investment of US$ 200 million over the next 5-7 years, said the MNRE Additional Secretary

India planning RPO-like obligation for Hydrogen, investment of $200 mn: MNRE
India planning RPO-like obligation for Hydrogen, investment of $200 mn: MNRE
  • Commenting on the National Hydrogen Mission, the MNRE Additional Secretary said that the document is in the final stages of preparation

  • Hydrogen could become cost-competitive by 2035, said the top bureaucrat

New Delhi: India is planning to bring in a purchase obligation on the lines of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) for Hydrogen and an investment of US$ 200 million over the next five years to promote the usage of the emission-free fuel, said Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Additional Secretary Aniruddha Kumar on Thursday. “We are considering RPO-like obligation for Hydrogen. But we are yet to hold discussion with ministries and other stakeholders,” said Kumar.

While speaking during a panel discussion at Hydrogen round table titled ‘Hydrogen Economy: New Delhi Dialogue-2021,’ Kumar said, “We propose to spend close to US $200 million in the next five to seven years to promote the usage of Hydrogen in India and decarbonise our energy pathways. Hydrogen can enhance the penetration of renewable energy across economic sectors, including manufacturing of steel, fertilizers, petrochemicals, long-distance mobility and long duration energy storage for stabilising the grid.”

National Hydrogen Mission in final stages of preparation: Kumar

Commenting on the National Hydrogen Mission, the MNRE Additional Secretary said that the document is in the final stages of preparation and will be soon circulated for consultation and suggestions. “After several rounds of discussions with the industry stakeholders and academia, the National Hydrogen Mission document is now in the final stages of preparation. We will soon circulate this document for inter-ministerial consultation and suggestions,” said Kumar. 

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In November 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced plans to launch a National Hydrogen Mission, under which fertilizer, steel and petrochemicals industries will be mandated to use green hydrogen. A Cabinet note in this regard has already been prepared and is expected to be placed before the Union Cabinet for approval soon.

“At present, India consumes around 5 MT of Hydrogen every year. Almost all of it is produced from fossil fuel sources, which is mainly imported, to the extent of around 90 percent. It can be substituted with Green Hydrogen,” said the top bureaucrat.

‘National Hydrogen Mission aimed at making Hydrogen cost-competitive’

Asserting that Hydrogen could become cost-competitive for application by 2035, the top MNRE bureaucrat said that the mission plan’s ultimate objective is to usher in commercialisation by making Hydrogen cost-competitive. “In the mission plan, we have put forward strategy for the short term (four years) and broad principles for the next 10 years. The mission document covers essential aspects of the entire value chain and provides for a consolidated approach under a single framework and structure.”

Kumar also said that major activities envisaged under the mission plan include creating and aggregating volumes and infrastructure, demonstration projects in niche sectors like transport and fertilizers, and other sectors, targeted and goal-oriented research and development, policy support for deployment for indigenous manufacturing and development of various components of the Hydrogen value chain and putting in place a robust regulatory and standardisation framework for Hydrogen technologies. “Accordingly, the present strategy is to find means to overcome these barriers, minimise technology risks and to kickstart the use of Hydrogen niche applications that make it commercially viable,” said the MNRE Additional Secretary.

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