Taking on the ‘Hydrogen Mission’
India’s quest for green fuel has taken a big leap forward with the successful trial run of two hydrogen-driven buses as part of its ‘Hydrogen Mission.’ Buoyed by the initial success, the government is now planning to launch 15 such buses by the end of the year. These vehicles, meant for mass-transportation will reduce carbon emissions drastically and allow the people to breathe in fresh air. India has set the target to produce five million tonnes of green Hydrogen fuel by 2030. Successful implementation of this mission will not only save nearly INR one lakh crore spent every year on imported fossil fuel, but also will prevent 50 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, which will come as a great relief to a world that is reeling under global warming caused by use of fossil fuels. Other nations too must join India in producing green Hydrogen fuel to aid in protecting earth’s natural environment .
So far, India’s ‘Hydrogen Mission’ has made good progress by producing vehicles that run on clean fuel. But, making a green vehicle is not the only challenge that the mission is facing, there are many more hurdles to cross. Although the technology used to produce hydrogen from water was invented way back in the 1800s, it is still unsuitable for commercial use. It’s going to be a litmus test for Indian scientists to make the technique commercially viable, to allow even the common man to use this green fuel. The second challenge is to produce sufficient amounts of green fuel to completely stop harmful emissions. India needs to add approximately 100 gigawatt of green energy every year for the next seven years to cater to the needs of its domestic market. Undoubtedly, this is an uphill task as the country still lacks the infrastructure to undertake such a task within such a short span of time. Thirdly, producing a sufficient number of electrolysers is going to be a major challenge. Electrolysers are needed for electrolysis through which Hydrogen is produced from water. Manufacturing of electrolysers is not very popular as its demands are limited. So, India has to produce its own electrolysers to meet the shortfall. Moreover, producing one kg of green Hydrogen fuel requires eight to nine liters of water. In the past, India was able to meet this demand as it had sufficient water resources. However, over the years, most of these resources have dried up and various parts of the country are facing drought-like situations in summer. This year too, the monsoon rain deficit stands at five per cent. So, India may struggle to arrange adequate water supply to produce Hydrogen fuel. It is hoped that our policy makers and the scientists involved will address these hurdles effectively to make the mission a pioneer in combating the threat of global warming.