Hydrogen pilot only the beginning, want to become energy exporter: Gadkari

Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday that the government’s long-term aim is to become an energy exporter, particularly in renewable energy like green hydrogen.

The union minister today launched India’s first green hydrogen pilot project project–a fuel cell electric vehicle–in collaboration with Japanese automaker Toyota and International Center for Automotive Technology.

“One direct benefit is that we’ll reduce our dependence on coal. Cement, steel, aviation and other fuel-intensive sectors will run on green hydrogen in the future. It is our aim that India becomes an exporter of green hydrogen in the future,” Gadkari said, adding that 80 per cent of the country’s energy is currently imported.

Green hydrogen, which uses only renewable resources to be made, is a key aspect of the government’s push overhauling the country’s energy consumption. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier launched the green hydrogen mission, and in February. the ministry of power had notified the green hydrogen policy with several concessions and incentives for manufacturers of the fuel.

The process of creating hydrogen from water is executed through electrolysers. “While we have started producing electrolysers domestically, each one costs Rs 1.2 crore. We are working on an electrolyser policy,” Gadkari said.

The minister added that the pilot project four-wheeler launched today last 153 kilometres (km) on a single kilogram (kg) of hydrogen, but it currently costs $6-7 per kg.

“We are trying to bring the cost down to $1 or Rs 75, and even if it is slightly higher than that at Rs 100, it will be more cost effective than any other fuel,” he said.

Highlighting the rapidly increasing scale of climate-friendly vehicles, the minister said that nobody will be using petrol-run two-wheelers and three-wheelers as the cost of electric vehicles will come to similar levels by then.

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