National Hydrogen Mission (NHM): Types of Hydrogen & Benefits

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : November 24th, 2022

National Hydrogen Mission (NHM) was announced in the Union Budget for 2021-2022 by the finance minister. NHM was expected to draw up a road map for the usage of hydrogen as an energy source. National Hydrogen Mission aims to push for the implementation of hydrogen energy that would drive the country in the right direction of making the best out of the renewable energy sector. The Hydrogen Policy is all set to capitalize on the most abundant elements on earth for a better, safer, and cleaner alternative fuel option.

National Hydrogen Mission is an important topic for the UPSC exam as it is a part of the IAS Syllabus and can be asked in both Prelims and Mains exams. Aspirants preparing for the upcoming exam must read about National Hydrogen Mission along with Green Hydrogen. 

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What is National Hydrogen Mission?

National Hydrogen Mission mission, also called National Hydrogen Energy Mission, was an initiative to make the best use of Hydrogen, which is one of the most abundant elements on earth. The main goal of this mission is to take advantage of this cleaner fuel.

  • On the 75th independence day, the Prime Minister of India announced the hydrogen policy. Under this policy, India is targeting 3/4th of its hydrogen from renewable sources by 2050. The National Hydrogen Mission will also help to reach sustainable climate goals.
  • Hydrogen is considered a potential fuel that can replace fossil fuels in the future. India’s target for 2022 is to generate 175 GW of renewable energy and 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, and this mission is expected to boost this process. The National Hydrogen Mission will emphasize the hydrogen from clean energy sources.

Types of Hydrogen in National Hydrogen Mission

Generating electricity from hydrogen does not produce pollution because the by-product is only heat and water. However, the process of producing hydrogen can cause pollution. Based on the source of production, hydrogen can be classified into the following types.

  • Grey Hydrogen- Hydrogen from hydrocarbons is called grey hydrogen. This is the most common method for hydrogen production currently. It produced carbon dioxide as a by-product.
  • Black/Brown Hydrogen- this process involves transforming coal into gas. But this process causes high pollution, and carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are released into the atmosphere.
  • Blue Hydrogen is the hydrogen produced from hydrocarbons where the emissions generated from the process can be captured and stored. They are stored underground by industrial carbon capture storage (CSS). This is a better alternative compared to grey hydrogen. 
  • Green Hydrogen- just like the name goes, green hydrogen is generated from renewable sources like wind and solar. During the process, electricity splits water into hydrogen and water. By far this is the cleanest way of hydrogen generation.

National Hydrogen Mission Features

National Hydrogen Mission will lead to producing clean fuel, and it will reduce India’s dependence on fossil fuels and crude oil imports. Below mentioned are the features of the National Hydrogen Mission.

    • Green hydrogen manufacturer can store their renewable power for up to 30 days by coordinating with the distribution companies. The companies may get distribution licensees at concessional prices.
    • Another feature of the National Hydrogen Mission is the manufacturing companies of green hydrogen will get a tax-free inter-state transmission for 25 years.
    • Ensure “grid to market” connectivity to ensure on-time delivery and attract investors.
    • Single Portal to ease the business process and activities 
    • Manufacturers can set up their infrastructure near the ports for trading activities, but they have to pay charges to the representative port authorities.

The objective of the National Hydrogen Mission is to boost production to meet domestic demand and to become an exporter of Green Hydrogen.

Activities Carried out under National Hydrogen Mission 

  • Goal-oriented development and research 
  • A robust framework for regulations of hydrogen technologies
  • To create infrastructures and volumes
  • Demonstrations in niche applications

National Green Hydrogen Mission 

Green hydrogen is the hydrogen produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity. It is an efficient and clean energy carrier.

  • Hydrogen is found in organic compounds, water, petrol, natural gas, propane, and methanol. Hydrogen as a fuel can be used directly in existing internal combustion engines and turbines. It is also an alternative for electricity generation. 
  • Hydrogen in the transport sector has proven to be more beneficial than other alternatives. Additionally, it is possible to store hydrogen on board.
  • The Hydrogen policy would be a crucial step that would help the government to meet the target of producing 5 million tonnes of Green Hydrogen by 2030.
  • The green hydrogen policy would aid the government's efforts to achieve the commitments made at COP 26.

Green Hydrogen in India

  • Due to the favourable geographic conditions, India has a huge advantage in harnessing the power of hydrogen and producing hydrogen.
  • The demand for hydrogen in India is at around 6 metric tonnes per year, mainly from industry sectors.
  • The demand for hydrogen is expected to rise by at least 5-fold by 2050. This means by 2050, the demand for hydrogen will be around 28 MT due to cost reduction, technological advancements, and initiatives to reduce carbon footprint.
  • Production of green hydrogen in India can become cost-effective in the future while will ensure self-sufficiency and energy security.
  • The government has scaled up the gas pipeline infrastructure and introduced reforms for the power grid and smart grids. These steps would definitely integrate renewable energy.

Challenges in National Hydrogen Mission

  • One of the major challenges for using hydrogen commercially is the economic sustainability of extracting blue hydrogen or green hydrogen.
  • The technology used for the production and use of hydrogen is at the nascent stage and expensive as well, which again leads to the high cost of hydrogen production.
  • The high maintenance cost of a plant's fuel cells is also a challenge. Using hydrogen for commercial purposes requires a huge investment in technology and infrastructure, storage, transportation, and demand creation for hydrogen.

Need for National Hydrogen Mission

Following are the reasons behind promoting the National Hydrogen Mission in India.

  • Electricity generation in India is majorly dependent on fossil fuels which are nonrenewable. If hydrogen can replace fossil fuels and help in energy production, pollution will be reduced to a large extent. Additionally, the import of coal will be reduced as well.
  • Hydrogen is energy efficient, lighter, and the most abundant element on earth. Harnessing hydrogen power would help the transportation, iron, steel, and chemical industries immensely.
  • Proper implementation of the National Hydrogen Mission would lead to clean fuels and reduce the dependence on crude oil imports and fossil fuels.
  • Plastic and bio can be converted into hydrogen, and the hydrogen missions would help tackle twin energy security problems and waste management problems.

With increasing investment in R&D, compatible legislation, capacity building, and the opportunity for demand creation, India is at an advantage. It is expected that initiatives can propel India to become a hub of hydrogen power. Also, soon India will start exporting hydrogen to its neighbours and beyond.

National Hydrogen Mission UPSC 

National Hydrogen Mission is a part of the UPSC Prelims Syllabus and the UPSC Mains Syllabus. Those preparing for UPSC Prelims or UPSC Mains must go through the National Hydrogen Mission UPSC notes to answer the questions asked on this topic.

Additionally, candidates can make the best use of these notes during the revision period because opening the UPSC Books at the last minute won’t be a feasible option. As it is a current affairs topic, aspirants can expect questions from the National Hydrogen Energy Mission UPSC topic, and it is wise to be prepared. 

National Hydrogen Mission PDF

Candidates can bookmark this page to access the National Hydrogen Mission UPSC Notes. However, we have provided a more feasible option by providing the hydrogen policy Notes PDF below.

➩ Download National Hydrogen Mission UPSC Notes PDF

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FAQs on National Hydrogen Mission

  • National Hydrogen Mission was announced by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2021. With this mission, India is all set to target the renewable energy sector and push to harness the power of hydrogen energy. This budget allocated 1500 INR crore for the development of renewable energy including hydrogen.

  • The National Hydrogen Mission will promote and help in the production of clean fuel, and reduce the country’s dependence on cruel oil and fossil fuels imports. Manufacturers of green hydrogen can store renewable energy for up to 30 days. The manufacturing companies of green hydrogen would get tax-free interstate transmission. Overall this hydrogen policy will enhance the hydrogen production to meet the demand.

  • As fossil fuels are the main source of electricity generation in India. Unfortunately, fossil fuels are not-renewable. If hydrogen replaces fossil fuels for energy production then it would reduce pollution to a large extent. Additionally, India’s dependency on fossil fuels and crude oil imports will reduce significantly.

  • Some of the major challenges in the National Hydrogen Mission include the economic sustainability of extracting green hydrogen or blue hydrogen. There is no advanced technology for producing hydrogen yet, and all the existing technologies for hydrogen production are at a nascent stage. Additionally, the technology required for the production of hydrogen is highly expensive.

  • Green hydrogen is one of the hydrogens that is produced by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen with the use of renewable energy. This is the cleanest and most efficient way of hydrogen production. The National Hydrogen Mission aims to produce meet the target of producing 5 million tons of green hydrogen by the year 2030.

  • The Main aim behind launching the National Hydrogen Mission is to support the government in making Indian a green hydrogen hub and meeting its climate target.

  • The National Hydrogen Mission was launched on the 75th Independence Day of India, i.e., 15th August 2021, with the aim of making India a green hydrogen hub.

  • The types of hydrogen are Black Hydrogen, Grey Hydrogen, Green Hydrogen, and Blue Hydrogen. These are the types of code used in the energy industry to differentiate between the types of Hydrogen.

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