National Green Hydrogen Mission – What it entails about India’s clean energy ambitions?

India has declared the goal to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2070. As India goes through rapid economic growth, its demand for energy and resources is set to rise. This stresses the need to shift towards technologies that enable enhanced share of renewable sources in the energy mix, and progressively reduce the reliance on fossil fuels.

The Government of India (GoI) sees the potential in Green Hydrogen, produced using renewable energy, to play a key role in such low-carbon and self-reliant economic pathways. With this in sight, the Union Cabinet approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission (the Mission) on 4 January 2023.

The overarching objective of the Mission is to make India the Global Hub for production, usage and export of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives.

Mission components

To achieve the Mission objectives, the strategy accordingly comprises interventions for:

  • demand creation by making Green Hydrogen produced in India competitive for exports and through domestic consumption,
  • addressing supply side constraints through an incentive framework, and
  • building an enabling ecosystem to support scaling and development

The Mission will facilitate demand creation, production, utilization and export of Green Hydrogen.  Under the SIGHT program, two distinct financial incentive mechanisms – targeting domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and production of Green Hydrogen – will be provided under the Mission.  The Mission will also support pilot projects in emerging end-use sectors and production pathways.  Regions capable of supporting large scale production and/or utilization of Hydrogen will be identified and developed as Green Hydrogen Hubs.

Financial outlay

The initial financial outlay for the Mission will be INR 19,744 crore, including amounts allocated to projects as per below chart. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) will formulate the scheme guidelines for implementation of the respective components.

*SIGHT – Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition

Duty waiver

The union minister for power and renewable energy has said that the government is also planning to waive off import duty on electrolysers for a short period to give an initial push to investment in green hydrogen production.

Expected outcomes

The Mission is expected to result in the following likely outcomes by 2030:

Phased Approach

The Mission is proposed to be implemented in a phased manner, in two phases.

With Green Hydrogen, there are opportunities for the traditional energy partners to cooperate through knowledge sharing and investments in Green Hydrogen. India has made considerable investments on research and development as well as the related technological advancements and has entered into collaborations with its energy partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). India’s efforts at extending and fostering time-tested energy ties through venturing into Green Hydrogen under the Mission, is timely and laudable.

The plan as outlined in the Mission is ambitious, but it is expected to attract global investors. The primary underlying feature of this policy is to become an export hub to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa.