Author: Ishika Chauhan
Editors: Ritwiz Sarma, Soumya Singhal
The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways for India recently arrived at the Parliament House in a ‘hydrogen-fuelled’ car. This occurred in the backdrop of the Ministry of Power [MoP] announcing the first phase of the ‘Green Hydrogen Policy’ on 17 February 2022. The policy aims to cut down greenhouse emissions and promote clean energy, among other things, by positioning Green Hydrogen as a potential fuel for industrial and domestic purposes. The policy aims to curb the dependence on fossil fuels and potentially place India as a global leader in fuel production. In this context, the issue brief discusses some fundamental issues on India’s path to becoming a global pioneer of Green Hydrogen. These issues include the challenges of cost-effectiveness, lack of infrastructure capacity and domestic demand, insufficiency of existing supply chains, and a suitable investment map for the effective implementation of the Green Hydrogen Policy. Further, this brief discusses the various nuances of the policy in terms of the position of stakeholders, economic implications, and transition from an economy highly dependent on coal and natural gas.
Keywords: Hydrogen, Electrolysis, Energy, Sustainable Development, Fossil Fuels
Context: Shift to ‘Cleaner and Greener’ Energy
The 26th Conference of Parties [COP26] in Glasgow reaffirmed the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit the increase in temperature below 1.5°C. More importantly, COP26 brought a sharp focus on decarbonisation (United Nations, n.d.). A significant highlight was countries deciding to ‘phase down’ the use of fossil fuels and “phase out… inefficient” fuel subsidies (United Nations, n.d.).
These conscious efforts to reverse the effects of climate change are imperative due to the duality of the climate crisis–growing population on the one hand and depleting reserves of non-renewable fuels on the other. An interplay of the two has necessitated a search for alternatives. Considerable investments in climate finance and research have led to the emergence of green fuels or biofuels. One of the biggest contenders in this ‘cleaner energy race’ is Green Hydrogen.