Panel submits hydrogen energy road map

FUEL OF FUTURE: The Chairman, Steering Group on Hydrogen Energy, Ratan Tata (left), presented the National Hydrogen Energy Road Map to the Union Minister for Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Vilas Muttemwar, in New Delhi on Monday. — Photo: Rajeev Bhatt  

NEW DELHI: Hydrogen can well be the answer to India's rapidly growing energy demand, with an official committee headed by industrialist Ratan Tata on Monday submitting a road map that calls for Rs. 25,000 crore investment in the coming years to tap this energy source.

The steering group on hydrogen energy, set up by the Union Government under the chairmanship of the Tata group chief, projected an investment of Rs. 24,000 crore for creating infrastructure for hydrogen production, its storage, transportation and distribution, besides Rs. 1,000 crore for research, development and demonstration.

Presenting the `National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap' to Minister for Non-Conventional Energy Sources Vilas Muttemwar, Mr. Tata said: ``The whole world, and certainly India, will face increasing shortage of hydrocarbon and so we have to look at alternative forms of energy... The document reflects the problems and attempts to define a road map.''

However, he pointed out that a "whole lot of problems'' existed relating to production, distribution and storage of energy from hydrogen. "The implementation is complex and expensive. But we have to find solutions to these,'' he said.

The road map proposed two major initiatives — Green Initiative for Future Transport (GIFT) and Green Initiative for Power Generation (GIP) — as part of its proposals.

GIFT aims at developing and demonstrating hydrogen-powered IC engine and fuel-cell based vehicles ranging from small two/three wheelers, cars/taxis, buses and vans through different phases of development.

If the road map was implemented, as many as one million hydrogen powered vehicles would run on the road.

GIP envisages developing and demonstrating hydrogen-powered IC engine/turbine and fuel cell-based decentralised power generating systems.

The road map envisaged decentralised hydrogen-based power generation of about 1,000 MW aggregate capacity in the country by 2020.

Members of the steering group included former ISRO Chairman K. Kasturirangan, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar, and chairmen of Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL).

Mr. Muttemwar was confident that the Government would take steps to translate the road map suggested by the group into a reality.

"I look forward to the active participation of all stakeholders in the implementation of this road map,'' he said. — PTI