“Green hydrogen presents both a big opportunity and some major challenges.” Elucidate. What are measures taken by the government to make it a viable alternative to conventional fuels


The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced a Rs-496-crore (until 2025-26) scheme to support pilot projects of green hydrogen and supporting infrastructure.


  • Introduce your answer by defining green hydrogen and its relevance to India’s energy transition.
  • In the main body, discuss opportunities like renewable integration and emission reduction, challenges including high costs and infrastructure needs, and government measures like the National Hydrogen Mission and financial incentives.
  • Conclude by highlighting green hydrogen’s role in India’s sustainable future, stressing the need for innovation and collaboration to overcome challenges.

 Answer: Green hydrogen, produced through the electrolysis of water using renewable energy, offers a sustainable energy solution with virtually zero emissions. This innovative fuel source stands at the forefront of India’s agenda to transition towards cleaner energy alternatives, addressing climate change and reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

Opportunities Presented by Green Hydrogen:

  • Renewable Energy Integration: Green hydrogen provides a pathway to utilize surplus renewable energy, thereby enhancing the share of clean energy in the national grid.
    • India’s ambitious renewable energy targets, aiming for 500 GW by 2030, provide a vast potential for green hydrogen production.
  • Emission Reduction: It promises significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, supporting India’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.
    • India’s commitment to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030 from 2005 levels.
  • Energy Security: By reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels, green hydrogen can improve India’s energy security and balance of payments.
    • India imports over 80% of its oil needs.
  • Industrial Application: It offers a cleaner alternative for energy-intensive industries such as steel and cement production, contributing to their decarbonization.
    • The steel industry, one of the largest industrial consumers of hydrogen, stands to benefit from green hydrogen, potentially reducing emissions by 20-30%.
  • Support for Clean Mobility: green hydrogen can play an important role in achieving clean mobility, reducing urban pollution, and ensuring sustainable public transportation solutions.
    • Tata Motors, Volvo Eicher, and Ashok Leyland’s initiatives towards developing hydrogen-powered trucks and buses.
  • Export Potential: India has the potential to become a global hub for green hydrogen production and export, leveraging its abundant solar and wind resources.

Challenges Associated with Green Hydrogen:

  • High Production Costs: The initial cost of green hydrogen production is significantly high, mainly due to the expense of electrolyzers and renewable energy infrastructure.
    • For hydrogen Fuel Cell EVs to compete with Battery EVs, green hydrogen needs to cost between $3 and $6.5 per kilogram by 2030. At present, retail green hydrogen prices in California touched $30 per kilogram in 2023.
  • Storage and Transportation: Green hydrogen requires high-pressure storage and robust transportation infrastructure due to its low density and highly flammable nature.
    • In India, existing CNG cylinders and natural gas pipelines are unsuitable for hydrogen, thus hindering its adoption as a transport fuel.
  • Infrastructure Development: Establishing a widespread refueling infrastructure for hydrogen-powered vehicles is capital-intensive and technologically challenging.
  • Market Competition: Green hydrogen needs to become cost-competitive with not only conventional fuels but also with other renewable energy technologies.
    • The cost of producing green hydrogen is significantly higher than conventional hydrogen (grey hydrogen).

Measures Taken by the Government:

  • The National Hydrogen Mission: Launched in 2021, the mission aims to make India a green hydrogen hub by 2030. It targets production capacity of one million tonnes per annum (MTPA) by 2030.
  • Viability Gap Funding (VGF): Providing subsidies for electrolyzer manufacturing and offering low-interest loans for green hydrogen projects can incentivize private sector participation.
  • Financial Support for Pilot Projects: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has allocated Rs-496-crore until 2025-26 to support pilot projects for green hydrogen in transportation.
  • Focus on Research and Development: Investing in research to improve electrolysis efficiency, develop cost-effective storage solutions, and explore alternative water sources are crucial steps

Green hydrogen embodies a significant opportunity for India to lead in the global transition towards a sustainable energy future. However, realizing its full potential requires overcoming substantial challenges, particularly in cost reduction, infrastructure development, and market creation. The government’s proactive measures, coupled with industry innovation and international cooperation, are key to making green hydrogen a cornerstone of India’s energy strategy.

‘+1’ Value Addition:

  • The Indian government aims to achieve a green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) per annum by 2030.
  • The government is exploring the possibility of mandating industries to purchase a certain percentage of their energy needs from green hydrogen sources.
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