India publishes scheme guidelines for setting up hydrogen hubs

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued scheme guidelines for setting up hydrogen hubs in the country under the National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM).

According to the ministry, the scheme, issued on March 15, 2024, will be implemented as per the detailed guidelines, the expenditure on the scheme will be met from the budget provisions made under the NGHM Head, and the MNRE and its nominated Scheme Implementing Agencies (SIAs) will be the implementing agency for these hydrogen hubs.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  • to identify and develop regions capable of supporting large-scale production and/or utilization of hydrogen as green hydrogen hubs,
  • development of green hydrogen projects inside the hubs in an integrated manner to allow the pooling of resources and achievement of scale,
  • to enhance the cost-competitiveness of green hydrogen and its derivatives vis-à-vis fossil-based alternatives,
  • to maximize the production of green hydrogen and its derivatives in India within the stated financial support,
  • to encourage large-scale utilization and exports of green hydrogen and its derivatives, and
  • to enhance the viability of green hydrogen assets across the value chain.

To note, the National Green Hydrogen Mission was launched on January 4, 2023, to make India a global hub for the production, usage and export of green hydrogen and its derivatives.

In the newly published document, the ministry said the mission will contribute to India’s goal to become self-reliant through clean energy and serve as an inspiration for the global clean energy transition, noting that it will also lead to significant decarbonization of the economy, reduced dependence on fossil fuel imports and enable India to assume technology and market leadership in green hydrogen.

Along with other initiatives, the mission envisages large-scale hydrogen hubs, which will act as a foundation for the development of the hydrogen ecosystem and as the backbone of the decarbonization efforts in the country, the ministry pointed out.

Under the mission, it is planned to set up at least two such green hydrogen hubs, the ministry stated, adding that the scheme will provide support for the development of the following core infrastructure at hydrogen hubs for common services/facilities only:

  • storage and transportation facilities for green hydrogen/its derivatives,
  • development or upgradation of pipeline infrastructure,
  • green hydrogen-powered vehicle refuelling facility,
  • hydrogen compression and/or liquefaction technologies, as required,
  • hydrogen storage systems, including bulk liquid, gaseous, materials-based technologies or subsurface options (e.g., salt caverns, depleted oil and gas fields, unused coal mines etc.),
  • water treatment facility and associated storage facility,
  • development of bunkering facilities in the case of ports, including the provision of bunker barges for handling large vessels such as very large crude carriers (VLCC),
  • infrastructure upgradation for shipping, including expansion of port/jetty infrastructure for exports,
  • power transmission infrastructure to the nearest existing grid substation and establishment of new dedicated substations,
  • land re-development,
  • energy storage to manage RE intermittency,
  • effluent treatment plants, and any other infrastructure required.

To remind, on February 1, 2024, India’s government also released a scheme that aims to support retrofitting existing vessels to run on green hydrogen. Moreover, this scheme will support the development of bunkering and refuelling facilities in ports for green hydrogen-based fuels.

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