Himachal Pradesh takes aim to lead in country’s clean energy transition; mulls a new ‘Green Hydrogen’ policy

Increasing renewable energy use across all economic spheres is central to the country’s energy transition, and ‘Green Hydrogen’ is considered a promising alternative for enabling this transition.

May 20, 2023 02:12 pm | Updated 02:21 pm IST - CHANDIGARH

Representative image

Representative image

As India aims to become energy independent by the year 2047, Himachal Pradesh is taking a lead in the country’s clean energy transition by contemplating a ‘Green Hydrogen’ policy that would promote the use of green hydrogen and establish the hill state as a leading hub for its production.

Increasing renewable energy use across all economic spheres is central to the country’s energy transition, and ‘Green Hydrogen’ is considered a promising alternative for enabling this transition. Hydrogen can be utilised for long-duration storage of renewable energy, replacement of fossil fuels in industry, clean transportation, and potentially also for decentralised power generation, aviation, and marine transport.

Also read: Explained | India’s plan to develop green hydrogen

“The state government is formulating a new Green Hydrogen policy, which aims to promote the use of green hydrogen and establish Himachal Pradesh as a leading hub for its production. The state’s abundant renewable energy resources, including ample sunlight, water and wind, make it an ideal location for generating green hydrogen,” said Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Saturday.

What is green hydrogen?
A colourless, odourless, tasteless, non-toxic and highly combustible gaseous substance, hydrogen is the lightest, simplest and most abundant member of the family of chemical elements in the universe. But a colour — green — prefixed to it makes hydrogen the “fuel of the future”. The ‘green’ depends on how the electricity is generated to obtain the hydrogen, which does not emit greenhouse gas when burned.
Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis using renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind or hydel power.

Mr. Sukhu said the key objective of the policy is to attract investments in large-scale renewable energy projects, ensuring a consistent and sustainable supply of green electricity for electrolysis. “By leveraging its natural advantages, Himachal Pradesh aims to create a favourable environment for the production of green hydrogen. This will not only contribute to the global fight against climate change but also make the State a pioneer in sustainable development,” he said.

“To kick-start the efforts towards green hydrogen production, the government has already entered into a memorandum of understanding with Oil India Limited (OIL). This collaboration will enable the production of green hydrogen and green ammonia on a pilot basis. Furthermore, the Government is actively encouraging young entrepreneurs to invest in the State and the new green energy policy will include various provisions to facilitate their participation,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) is also setting up a Green Hydrogen mobility project in the Chamba district on a pilot basis. “This project will feature a dedicated solar plant, an electrolyzer unit for hydrogen production and a hydrogen storage system with a dispenser. Once the plant is functional, there are plans to introduce hydrogen-driven buses operated by the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC), he said.

He said that the formulation of the new policy is expected to place Himachal Pradesh at the forefront of India’s clean energy transition. “By promoting the production and adoption of green hydrogen, the State will significantly contribute to global efforts against climate change. It will also create opportunities for sustainable economic growth and make Himachal a model State for clean and renewable energy initiatives,” he said.

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