India has announced a National Hydrogen Mission that will draw up a roadmap for using hydrogen as an energy source. The initiative has the potential of transforming transportation.
Traditionally a slow mover in frontier electric vehicle (EV) technologies, India has made an uncharacteristically early entry in the race to tap the energy potential of the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen. Less than four months after the United States Department of Energy announced an investment up to $100 million in hydrogen production and fuel cell technologies research and development, India has announced a National Hydrogen Mission.
The proposal in the Budget will be followed up with a mission draft over the next couple of months — a roadmap for using hydrogen as an energy source, with specific focus on green hydrogen, dovetailing India’s growing renewable capacity with the hydrogen economy, government officials indicated.
And while proposed end-use sectors include steel and chemicals, the major industry that hydrogen has the potential of transforming is transportation — which contributes a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, and where hydrogen is being seen as a direct replacement of fossil fuels, with specific advantages over traditional EVs.
In October, Delhi became the first Indian city to operate buses running on hydrogen spiked compressed natural gas (H-CNG) in a six-month pilot project. The buses will run on a new technology patented by Indian Oil Corp for producing H-CNG — 18 per cent hydrogen in CNG — directly from natural gas, without resorting to conventional blending.
Power major NTPC Ltd is operating a pilot to run 10 hydrogen fuel cell-based electric buses and fuel cell electric cars in Leh and Delhi, and is considering setting up a green hydrogen production facility in Andhra Pradesh.
IOC is also planning to set up a dedicated unit to produce hydrogen to run buses at its R&D centre in Faridabad.
As a supporting regulatory framework, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways late last year issued a notification proposing amendments to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, to include safety evaluation standards for hydrogen fuel cell-based vehicles.
Source: Indian Express