National Hydrogen Energy Mission UPSC | Features | Objective | Analysis – The Union Budget for 2021-22 has announced a National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHM) that will draw up a road map for using hydrogen as an energy source.The initiative has the potential of transforming transportation. NHM initiative will capitalise on one of the most abundant elements on earth (Hydrogen) for a cleaner alternative fuel option. India will soon join 15 other countries in the hydrogen club as it prepares to launch the National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM)
Hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements on the earth. The global demand for hydrogen as a fuel has become thrice of what it was in 1975. It is also the only source of energy that only emits water vapour and leaves no residue in the air. Due to these advantages hydrogen is being seen as the biggest source of clean energy fuel in the near future.
About the National Hydrogen Energy Mission:
- This mission will emphasise hydrogen from clean sources.
- It also envisages linking the country’s growing renewable energy capacity with the hydrogen economy.
- India’s target for 2022 for renewable energy generation is 175 GW and this mission is expected to bolster the process.
- The usage of hydrogen will not only help India in achieving its emission goals under the Paris Agreement, but will also reduce import dependency on fossil fuels.
The renewable energy target for 2030 is 450 GW. The country has set to Decarbonise by 2050 Which Is a Target Set Under Paris Agreement . Using hydrogen will serve the twin purposes of achieving India’s emission commitments under the Paris Agreement and reducing the import dependence on fossil fuels.
- The end-users of hydrogen energy are the transportation sector, chemical industry and steel sector.
- These sectors contribute to 1/3rd of all greenhouse gas emissions because of their using fossil fuels.
- Replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen in these sectors will help reduce GHGs in a big way.
What is Hydrogen And Types Of Hydrogen Gas ?
- Hydrogen is the lightest and first element on the periodic table. Since the weight of hydrogen is less than air, it rises in the atmosphere and is therefore rarely found in its pure form, H2.
- At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a nontoxic, nonmetallic, odorless, tasteless, colorless, and highly combustible diatomic gas.
- Hydrogen fuel is a zero-emission fuel burned with oxygen. It can be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines. It is also used as a fuel for spacecraft propulsion.
Type of Hydrogen:
- Constitutes India’s bulk Production.
- Extracted from hydrocarbons (fossil fuels, natural gas).
- By product: CO2
- Sourced from fossil fuels.
- By product: CO, CO2
- By products are Captured and Stored, so better than gey hydrogen.
- Generated from renewable energy (like Solar, Wind).
- Electricity splits water into hydrogen and oxygen.
- By Products : Water, Water Vapor
Types of Vehicles based on Hydrogen:
- There are various types of Electric Vehicles that would be run using hydrogen. There are various categories of these vehicles:
- HEVs or Hybrid Electric Vehicles use high fuel economy and low tailpipe emission.
- Battery Powered Electric Vehicles use fully electric, rechargeable batteries with no petrol.
- Plug In Hybrid Vehicles use batteries plus petrol
- Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles use hydrogen plus oxygen as fuel. These are fully electric but are not rechargeable like Battery powered electric vehicles.
National Hydrogen Energy Mission: Advantages of Hydrogen fuel
- It has near zero carbon footprint. The electricity to extract hydrogen comes from fossil fuels.
- It can be stored in tanks such as CNG and can be integrated into car’s be,lies.
- The average that can be provided is about 500 kilometre or 400 miles per charge.
- It is lighter than heavy Lithium ion batteries, better for long haul trucks and commercial vehicles.
- It can be Refuelled in 5 minutes.
National Hydrogen Energy Mission: Disadvantages of Hydrogen fuel
- Hydrogen has great explosion risk and is a highly combustible gas.