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H2-Oh Wow! India Shifts Gears to Green Hydrogen Highway

New Delhi, January 25, 2024 – In a move that’s being hailed as both innovative and eco-friendly, Union Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister, R. K. Singh, sparked a new era in transportation at the Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan today. The meeting, a veritable who’s who of the transport sector, was not just about rubber meeting the road but also about hydrogen meeting the highways.

Dubbed the ‘Green Hydrogen Highway’, the meeting’s agenda centered on the trial runs in the transport sector under the banner of the National Green Hydrogen Mission. The guest list included officials from the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and luminaries from the transport world – including those from hydrogen dispensing, storage, and manufacturing sectors.

Minister Singh, in his address, recharged the gathering with the government’s commitment to an energy transition, in line with India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to reduce emissions intensity. He turned the spotlight on the transport sector’s crucial role in hitting these targets and highlighted green hydrogen’s potential, especially for heavy-duty movers like trucks and buses.

The roadmap discussed at the meeting was not just about getting from A to B but also about moving from ‘Carbon’ to ‘Green’. The Minister emphasized the need for thorough trials to unlock green hydrogen’s potential in the transport sector. He called for a national roadmap to decarbonize the sector using green hydrogen. Additionally, he proposed a head-to-head comparison of hydrogen-powered vehicles with battery-electric counterparts, especially in heavy-duty applications.

Not just riding on international trends, the Minister stressed the development of homegrown technology for integrating hydrogen into India’s transport tapestry. The meeting zoomed in on ongoing trials like hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine trucks and fuel cell buses, focusing on effective fund allocation for these pilot projects.

Industry representatives, while enthusiastic, raised the red flag about the costs associated with green hydrogen, fuel cells, and storage cylinders. Minister Singh, in a reassuring tone, suggested that these costs would deflate with advancements in local manufacturing and scaling up processes.

In a turbo-charged conclusion, Minister Singh rallied for a joint effort in market development and identifying areas for further development. He affirmed the government’s readiness to inject additional funds into the transport sector under the National Green Hydrogen Mission, over and above the initial Rs. 496 crore allocation.

As the meeting wrapped up, it was clear that the wheels are in motion for a greener, hydrogen-powered future on Indian roads, aligning neatly with the country’s ambitious NDC targets.

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