Oil and Gas Sector – HELP, Open Acreage Policy, etc.

GAIL inaugurates 10 MW Green Hydrogen Plant in Madhya Pradesh


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Green Hydrogen; the National Green Hydrogen Mission

Why in the news?

GAIL (India) Ltd has commissioned its first green hydrogen plant at Vijaipur in Madhya Pradesh, marking a significant step for the nation’s largest natural gas transmission and distribution firm into new and alternate energy sources.

About Vijaipur Green Hydrogen Plant

  • The plant aligns with the National Green Hydrogen Mission‘s objective of achieving 5 million tons of annual green hydrogen production capacity by 2030.
  • The plant features a 10-megawatt proton exchange membrane electrolyser imported from Canada.
  • It will produce approximately 4.3 tonnes of green hydrogen per day with a purity of about 99.999% by volume.
  • The production process utilises electricity from renewable sources, such as solar energy, to split water and produce green hydrogen.

Major Objective: Hydrogen Blending

  • GAIL is currently conducting experimental blending of hydrogen with natural gas.
  • Current regulations permit blending up to 5% hydrogen with natural gas, with ongoing studies to explore higher blending ratios.

What is Green Hydrogen?

  • Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis, where electricity derived from renewable sources, such as solar or wind power, is used to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.
  • Since it relies on renewable energy, green hydrogen production has no direct emissions of CO2 or other greenhouse gases.

What is the Green Hydrogen Standard?

  • Definition of Green Hydrogen: It has defined green hydrogen as having a well-to-gate emission – including water treatment, electrolysis, gas purification, drying and compression of hydrogen – of not more than 2 kg CO2 equivalent per kg of hydrogen produced.
  • Nodal Agency:  The Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power, will be the nodal authority for green hydrogen production projects.

Back2Basics: National Green Hydrogen Mission, 2023

Ministry Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
Purpose To incentivise the commercial production of green hydrogen and make India a net exporter of the fuel.
Key Activities Facilitates demand creation, production, utilisation, and export of green hydrogen.
  1. Strategic Interventions for the Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT): To fund the domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and the production of green hydrogen.
  2. Green Hydrogen Hubs: Identify and develop states and regions capable of supporting large-scale production and/or utilisation of hydrogen as Green Hydrogen Hubs.
Green Hydrogen Hubs Details Identifies and develops regions capable of large-scale hydrogen production and utilisation as Green Hydrogen Hubs.
  • Develop 5 MMT per annum of green hydrogen production by 2030.
  • Add 125 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  • Entail over Rs 8 lakh crore investments and generate six lakh jobs.
  • Reduce fossil fuel imports by over Rs 1 lakh crore and abate 50 MT of greenhouse gases annually.

Significance of Hydrogen Energy 

  • Hydrogen is an important source of energy since it has zero carbon content and is a non-polluting source of energy in contrast to hydrocarbons that have net carbon content in the range of 75–85 per cent.
  • Hydrogen energy is expected to reduce carbon emissions that are set to jump by 1.5 billion tons in 2021.
  • It has the highest energy content by weight and lowest energy content by volume.
  • As per the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Hydrogen shall make up 6 per cent of total energy consumption by 2050.
  • Hydrogen energy is currently at a nascent stage of development but has considerable potential for aiding the process of energy transition from hydrocarbons to renewable.

Types of Hydrogen

Hydrogen extraction methods are classified into three types based on their processes: Grey, Blue, and Green etc.

  1. Green Hydrogen:  Discussed above.
  2. Grey Hydrogen: This type of hydrogen is obtained through coal or lignite gasification (black or brown), or by steam methane reformation (SMR) of natural gas or methane (grey). These processes are typically carbon-intensive.
  3. Blue Hydrogen: It is derived from natural gas or coal gasification, coupled with carbon capture storage (CCS) or carbon capture use (CCU) technologies to mitigate carbon emissions.
  4. Turquoise hydrogen: It refers to hydrogen produced from methane pyrolysis, while yellow hydrogen is produced from biomass.



[2023] Consider the following heavy industries:

  1. Fertilizer plants
  2. Oil refineries
  3. Steel plants

Green hydrogen is expected to play a significant role in decarbonizing how many of the above industries?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

[2023]  With reference to green hydrogen, consider the following statements:

  1. It can be used directly as a fuel for internal combustion.
  2. It can be blended with natural gas and used as fuel for heat or power generation.
  3. It can be used in the hydrogen fuel cell to run vehicles.

How many of the above statements are correct?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

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