[Sureshot] National Green Hydrogen Mission


There is a global race to develop and manufacture clean energy technologies. In Aug 2021: National Hydrogen Energy Mission was Launched. In Apr 2022: India’s first 99.999% pure green hydrogen plant was commissioned by Oil India in Jorhat, Assam. In Jan 2023: Cabinet approved National Green Hydrogen Mission.

What is Green Hydrogen?

Green hydrogen(GH2) is Hydrogen(H₂) produced by splitting water(H₂O) into hydrogen and oxygen(O₂) using renewable electricity.

In comparison, Grey hydrogen is traditionally produced from methane (CH4) releasing CO₂, a GHG. Blue hydrogen is similar to Grey Hydrogen with the additional technologies necessary to capture the CO₂.

Mission Objectives

To make India the global hub of GH2 production

Expected Outcomes by 2030

  • 5 MMT per annum production capacity
  • ~125 GW renewable energy capacity addition.
  • Over Rs. 8 lakh crores in total investments
  • Create over 6 lakh jobs in the industry
  • Abate ~50 million metric tonnes of annual GHGs.
  • Reduce fossil fuel imports by over Rs. 1 lakh crore.

Mission Components

  • Demand Creation through exports and domestic utilization
  • Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) program – includes 2 financial incentives (1)Manufacturing of electrolyzers (2)GH2 production.
  • Green Hydrogen Hubs: Regions capable of supporting large-scale production and/or utilization of H₂ will be identified and developed as Green Hydrogen Hubs.
  • Strategic Hydrogen Innovation Partnership(SHIP): Public-private partnership framework for R&D will be facilitated under the Mission.
  • A robust Standards and Regulations framework will be also developed.
  • R&D projects will be goal-oriented, time-bound, and suitably scaled up to develop globally competitive technologies.
  • The Mission will support pilot projects in emerging end-use sectors and production pathways.
  • A coordinated skill development programme will also be undertaken under the Mission.


  • Meet Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement. India’s commitment to reducing its emission intensity by 33–35% from 2005 levels by 2030.
  • India’s commitment to move from a fossil and import-dependent economy to a net-zero economy by 2070 as stated in 2021 CoP in Glasgow.
  • Become energy independent by 2047.
  • India imports over 40% of its primary energy requirements, worth over USD 100 billion/year.
  • ability to replace fossil fuels in those sectors and uses that until now were more difficult to decarbonize. Eg. Heavy industries, transportation, etc.

How is GH2 produced?

  1. Generation of renewable energy: done using various renewable sources such as solar, wind, or hydroelectric power.
  2. The generated electricity is then used in an electrolyser, an electrochemical device that facilitates the electrolysis process. Electrolysers consist of two electrodes immersed in water, separated by an electrolyte.
  3. Electric current is passed through the water, which causes a chemical reaction.
  4. At the cathode (negative electrode), water molecules gain electrons and are reduced, forming hydrogen gas (H₂). At the anode (positive electrode), water molecules lose electrons and are oxidized, producing oxygen gas (O₂). The hydrogen and oxygen gases are then separated.
  5. The purified H₂ gas can be stored and transported for various applications


  • Commercial viability: The price per kilogram of green hydrogen has to reduce to a benchmark of $2/kg. At these prices, GH2 can compete with natural gas.
  • High cost of production: More expensive than producing hydrogen from any fossil fuel. Needs electrolyzers to be built on a large scale.
  • Energy intensive: requires a huge amount of electricity.
  • Storage and transportation: due to its high inflammability, either very high pressures or very high temperatures are required, both with their technical difficulties.
  • Lack of infrastructure: production, storage, and distribution of GH2 which includes a lack of refueling stations and pipelines for transporting hydrogen.
  • Low user acceptance and social awareness.

Way forward

  • To reduce the production cost of GH2 it is necessary to increase the capacity to generate renewable energy sources in India.
  • Need to develop infrastructure for the production, storage, and distribution of GH2 -hydrogen refueling stations, pipelines, and storage facilities.
  • Implement regulatory incentives, such as tax credits and subsidies to promote the use of GH2 in India.
  • Deploy demonstration projects and pilot programs.

Hydrogen Energy: A Backgrounder

  • An important source of energy since it has zero carbon content in contrast to hydrocarbons that have a net carbon content in the range of 75–85 percent.
  • Highest energy content by weight and the lowest energy content by volume.
  • As per International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Hydrogen shall make up 6 % of total energy consumption by 2050.

How can hydrogen be used?

H2 can be used in 2 ways- It can be burnt to produce heat or fed into a fuel cell to make electricity.

  • Fuel cell  Mobility: Hydrogen electric cars and trucks.
  • Container ships powered by liquid ammonia made from hydrogen.
  • ‘Green steel’ refineries burn hydrogen as a heat source rather than coal
  • Hydrogen-powered electricity turbines can generate electricity at times of peak demand to help firm the electricity grid.

Color spectrum of Hydrogen

Grey HydrogenMethane or coalCO2, COIndustrial feedstock, various processesLow (Harmful emissions)
Black/Brown HydrogenBlack (bituminous) or brown (lignite) coalCO2, COIndustrial feedstockLow (Harmful emissions)
Blue HydrogenSteam reforming process with carbon capture and storageCaptured CO2Industrial feedstockModerate (Reduced emissions)
Green HydrogenSurplus renewable energy (solar, wind)None (Only water vapor)Transportation, power generation, various processesHigh (No emissions)
Turquoise HydrogenMethane pyrolysisSolid carbonPower generation, industrial processesHigh (No emissions)
Pink HydrogenElectrolysis powered by nuclear energyNone (Only water vapor)Transportation, power generation, various processesHigh (No emissions)
Different types of Hydrogen





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