Before going through the answer of what is green hydrogen, let us glance at the basics and the reason behind the coining of the term green hydrogen.
Hydrogen (H2), the lightest element of the periodic table after Helium, is present in abundance in the atmosphere. When burned, it only generates water vapour which is harmless to the environment. Therefore, it can be used as fuel.
Merits of Hydrogen as a Fuel
#1. It has high efficiency and the energy produced is very dense plus it is long-lasting.
#2. Being lighter, it can be easily stored in vehicles in large amounts.
#3. The carbon footprint produced is null. As said earlier, it only releases water vapour into the atmosphere.
#4. The best thing about it is that it can be renewed, unlike other fossil fuels, which are getting over.
#5. Easy refuelling process and takes only three minutes. It will provide high consistency.
Demerits of Hydrogen as a Fuel
#1. With all the good things, it fails in being economical. Its transportation is costlier than any other fuel.
#2. It is not in a trend right now. You can only have access if you live in a city where hydrogen cell sales are permitted.
#3. Hydrogen is a highly combustible and volatile gas. To control its storage, additional energy in terms of pressure is required (700 Bar). It is kept in liquid form at a low temperature. If failed in controlling the pressure, it will start leaking (Hydrogen is odourless and can’t be easily detected when leaked). This is another major reason for not doing mass transportation.
#4. To use the fuel to the fullest, the temperature should be below 100-degree celsius every time. If the temperature increases, the fuel can’t produce its maximum efficiency.
#5. Although Hydrogen is a clean fuel, yet, it can cause environmental issues. The issues can be generated by transportation and manufacturing.
#6. Hydrogen is currently not produced completely using renewable resources. This means hydrogen is produced using fossil fuels. Hence, the process of production can be harmful to the environment.
Hydrogen is of Three Types
The four important sources of the production of Hydrogen are oil, coal, natural gas and electrolysis. Natural gases are used widely and account for 48% of hydrogen production. Oil and coals are used 40% and 18% respectively. The electrolysis process is being used the least (4%).
1. Grey Hydrogen
The production of grey hydrogen is done using fossil fuels or natural gases. The by-product is carbon dioxide. Therefore, it is not an eco-friendly method.
2. Blue Hydrogen
These are produced through hydrocarbons like grey hydrocarbons. The only difference is that carbon dioxide emissions are prevented and stored underground safely or used in industrial processes. Yet, 10 to 20% of carbon is still released into the atmosphere.
3. Green Hydrogen
The electrolysis process is being carried out by using renewable energy in green hydrogen production. No carbon dioxide is released during this process which makes it the cleanest of all the hydrogen.
With the help of green hydrogen production, we can opt for eco-friendly vehicles. We all know, the deterioration of the environment caused by vehicles is enormous. The use of fuels produces harmful gases, carbon dioxide being the main. Therefore, by using hydrogen fuel cells in vehicles, the deterioration can be reduced to a considerable level.
Let us have the gist of how the vehicle is going to be:
#1. Hydrogen and oxygen will be used to generate electricity to run the motor of the vehicle. These vehicles are known as electric vehicles or EVs.
#2. The battery, i.e., the hydrogen fuel cell, will store the electricity generated.
#3. The reaction of oxygen and hydrogen only leads to the emission of water vapour. This means 100% environmentally friendly.
#4. A catalyst is used in the direction for the quick production of electrons.
#5. There is no need for charging the battery. The electricity can be generated onboard.
Green Hydrogen India Project: National Hydrogen Energy Mission
The National Hydrogen Energy Mission was announced by the Union budget for 2021-2022. This initiative will have a huge impact on the transportation system, making it cleaner and greener.
#1. This mission’s sole focus is on green hydrogen production.
#2. India’s renewable capacity is growing. Hence, linking it with the hydrogen economy will be a boon for the country.
#3. This will help reduce the use of harmful fossil fuels.
#4. India’s bold goal of 175 GW by 2022 got associated with nursing impetus within the 2021-22 budget that allotted Rs.1500 crores for renewable energy development and NHM.
#5. The government has given impetus in scaling up the gas pipeline infrastructure across the length and breadth of the country and has introduced reforms for the facility grid, together with the introduction of good grids. These steps are being taken to effectively use and integrate renewable energy.
#6. Renewable energy generation, storage and transmission producing green hydrogen in India can become cost-effective by capacity addition. This will ensure energy security.
#7. The other industries like chemical, iron and steels will be benefited too.
#8. In India, fossil fuels are widely used in electricity generation. By replacing it with green hydrogen, pollution will eventually get reduced. Along with that, coal import can be reduced.
Challenges Faced by the Policy
#1. The maintenance cost is high.
#2. Extraction of green hydrogen sustainability is the biggest challenge faced by the policy.
#3. A huge investment has to be made in Research and Development for the growth of such technology with infrastructure.
In the above green hydrogen UPSC notes, you learned what is hydrogen, the production of hydrogen and its type, and the National Hydrogen Energy Mission policy. Green hydrogen has the potential to make energy production environmentally friendly. Though, some setbacks are faced by the experts.We hope these precise notes will come in handy for the preparation of UPSC exams. For more such notes, have a look at our UPSC pathshala courses. The courses are personalised, and a personal mentor will skyrocket your learning process and journey. Check out the free demo classes now and get satisfied with the teaching methodology. More than 5000+ students got selected, and you can be the one too. Take our free demo class to get a better understanding of our quality. You can also reach out to us through our official website.