Green hydrogen bids in four-five months, says Power Minister RK Singh

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 19, 2021 Published on February 19, 2021

Power Minister RK Singh   -  PTI

These proposals will be a part of the govt’s National Hydrogen Mission

The government plans to invite bids for green hydrogen projects in the next four to five months, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh said on Friday.

“We are going to go in for green hydrogen bids in another four-five months,” Singh said at the launch of the government’s Go Electric campaign. “We’ve already had discussions with the relevant ministries: Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Steel, and Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers,” he added.

Also read: Scrappage Policy: How you can switch to new vehicles and save

“We import ammonia. So we have put it to Ministry of Fertilizers: Suppose we have a mandate, like we have the RPO, to begin with 10 per cent of the ammonia which you are importing will be replaced by green ammonia made in India,” he added.

Similarly, a mandate that 10 per cent hydrogen consumption of refineries must be green hydrogen made in India has been proposed to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Singh said. The Ministry of Steel has been asked to consider a similar 10 per cent mandate for the hydrogen consumed by the steel industry, he added.

“Once we start with this in three years, green hydrogen will become competitive. We will not need to make this obligation, just as this happened with renewables,” Singh said.

These proposals would be a part of the National Hydrogen Mission that the government is designing presently.

Electric cooking subsidy

Try providing subsidy for electric cooking equipment in large hotels, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said at the launch event, adding that this can help lower the cooking-gas subsidy.

“There is a scope to give subsidy for electric cooking equipment to the poor…,” Gadkari said. Also, modern kitchens including those of large, luxury hotels can be electricity based, he added.

Scrappage policy

The Road Transport and Highways Minister also said the proposed vehicle scrappage policy will help extract various metals such as lithium, copper, plastic, rubber, which will help meet the lithium needed for producing electric vehicles. The need for lithium can be supported by extractions from scrapped vehicles and computers. As India looks to take a leap in electric vehicle space, the country could use Lithium (required for Lithium-ion battery) from such sources in the first few years till the country develops battery from other materials.

Gadkari added that buses proposed to be bought for public transport through the Budget support should be electric. “The per kilometre cost for BEST buses in Mumbai is ₹115…Pune and a few other cities are looking to procure electric buses…as per tender the per kilometre cost is about ₹40 or ₹50…” said Gadkari. There is, however, a difference in capital cost of normal (diesel) buses that cost about ₹20-25 lakh, and electric buses that cost about ₹50 crore.

In the Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that “a new scheme will be launched at a cost of ₹18,000 crore to support augmentation of public bus transport services. The scheme will facilitate deployment of innovative PPP models to enable private sector players to finance, acquire, operate and maintain over 20,000 buses.”

Further, Gadkari added that following Sweden’s example, there is also a scope to run electric-buses and trucks on the Delhi-Mumbai expressway and other expressways being built by the Highway Ministry. The Road Ministry has been mandated to develop ropeways, light rail transport among others, he added.

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Published on February 19, 2021
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