World Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day celebrations highlight role of hydrogen in building a sustainable future

World Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day celebrations highlight role of hydrogen in building a sustainable future

Rs. 400 crores R&D roadmap for National Green Hydrogen Mission unveiled

  • By ICN Bureau | October 09, 2023

On the eve of World Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, celebrated annually on October 8th, the Government of India held a half-day event to explore and leverage the boundless possibilities of hydrogen as a source of green and sustainable energy. The event, organized in New Delhi on October 7, 2023, by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, in association with Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited, brought together hydrogen experts from the industry, academia and government.

On the occasion, the R&D Roadmap for the National Green Hydrogen Mission was unveiled by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy. The roadmap, which provides for a budget of Rs. 400 crores, seeks to provide guidance for developing a vibrant research and development ecosystem which can help commercialize Green Hydrogen and contribute to India’s ambitious climate and energy goals. It focuses on developing new materials, technologies, and infrastructure to improve the efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of green hydrogen production, storage, and transportation. The R&D program will also prioritize safety and address technical barriers and challenges in developing a hydrogen economy.

In a video message, the Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, R. K. Singh, said, that World Hydrogen and Cell Day is a day when we celebrate a transformative element in the universe which holds the promise for a brighter and more sustainable future. “Hydrogen is the most abundant element and it has the potential to revolutionize our energy landscape, mitigate climate change, and power our economies with clean energy. On this World Hydrogen Day, let us reiterate our commitment to research, development and deployment of hydrogen solutions. Let us inspire our industries and communities to embrace hydrogen as a key player in the energy transition. Together, we can ensure that hydrogen becomes a cornerstone of a sustainable and prosperous future for our Planet Earth.”

Delivering the keynote speech, renowned scientist and Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood opined that green hydrogen is the Swiss knife for decarbonization. Speaking about the R&D Roadmap, the PSA said that the goal in the first phase is to focus on mission mode projects which can yield results in 2 – 3 years. “The R&D budget announced in this Mission is Rs. 400 crores in just 2 – 3 years. If we are able to demonstrate that this R&D can make a difference at the ground level, then I am confident that more will come. Our first priority should be mission-mode projects which will yield results in 2 – 3 years; then, we can address grand challenges which will be rather long-term and also blue sky projects which will take disruptive pathways.”

The PSA underscored the need for augmenting domestic capacity for production of electrolyzers in a very short time scale. He said that this is one goal the SIGHT programme addresses. Prof. Sood emphasized the immediate need for coming out with standards for Type IV cylinders for storing hydrogen. “Our standards are for Type III cylinders. Around the world, it is Type IV cylinders. So India has to come out with standards for Type IV cylinders; with these cylinders, we can triple mileage and filling time is also one tenth or so.”

Addressing the stakeholders, New and Renewable Energy Secretary, Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, said that India has entered the green hydrogen space at the right time and that the country is poised to become one of the leaders in the green hydrogen sector. The Secretary said that the R&D Roadmap aims to leverage research to ensure that India is at the cutting edge of the sector in the world. “If you really want to succeed, we need to produce green hydrogen at the least cost, in the best possible way. For this, we want to be the leader in technology as well, at par or ahead of the rest of the world. The R&D Roadmap for National Green Hydrogen Mission aims for all of this. It covers all aspects of production, transportation, storage and safety. We will issue call for proposals based on this roadmap and we will start awarding specific projects under the Mission. The research awarded will allow India to be absolutely on par with the cutting edge in the field.”

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