India is making substantial progress towards a more sustainable and renewable energy future, with a particular emphasis on the generation, production, and management of the use of green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is also emerging as a very promising solution to the world’s energy challenges, as it offers a clean and renewable source of fuel that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This article provides an in-depth analysis of green hydrogen, covering its definition, global trends and major projects, recent developments in India, and the legal and regulatory issues that must be addressed to ensure the successful deployment of green hydrogen in the country.

What is Green Hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is a type of hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power, through the process of electrolysis. Unlike traditional hydrogen production methods that rely on fossil fuels, which generate significant carbon emissions. The process of producing green hydrogen involves the use of an electrolyser, which splits water molecules into their constituent parts – hydrogen and oxygen – using an electric current.

The hydrogen produced in this process can then be stored and transported and used in a variety of applications such as fuel cells, power generation, and transportation. One of the key advantages of green hydrogen is its ability to provide clean, reliable, and affordable energy, while reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change. It can be used to decarbonize a range of sectors, including transportation, power generation, and industrial processes, that are currently reliant on fossil fuels.

World overview of Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen has emerged as a key focus area in the global quest to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. Countries and companies around the world are investing heavily in research and development, as well as the deployment of green hydrogen technologies. The European Union has set a target of producing 40 Gigawatts of hydrogen from the electrolysis capacity by, 2030, with the aim of becoming a global leader in the green hydrogen economy. Whereas, Germany has launched a national hydrogen strategy, which includes the construction of a 5-gigawatt green hydrogen plant in the state of Lower Saxony. The Netherlands has also launched a green hydrogen program to produce 3-4 gigawatts of hydrogen by 2030, with the aim of supplying it to various industries such as transportation and chemicals. South Korea and Japan are also set to produce 6-10 million tonnes of hydrogen by 2050.

India’s Green Hydrogen Mission & its Key Features:

As the world transitions towards a low-carbon economy, the Indian government has also launched the Green Hydrogen Mission to promote the production and use of green hydrogen as part of its larger vision for a sustainable energy future. On the auspicious occasion of the 75th Independence Day i.e., on 15/08/2021, the Hon’ble Prime Minister has announced the National Green Hydrogen Mission and the same was approved by Union Cabinet on 04/01/2022. Subsequently Ministry of Power unveiled the first part of India’s much awaited Green Hydrogen Policy on February 17, 2022. The country has set ambitious targets for the production and deployment of green hydrogen, with plans to achieve a capacity of 1 Gigawatt of electrolysis by 2022, scaling up to 10 Gigawatts by 2030, and replace fossil fuels by Green Hydrogen & Ammonia. The government has also announced plans to set up green hydrogen hubs in various parts of the country, which will serve as centres for research and development, as well as production and distribution of green hydrogen.

Key features:

Producers of Green Hydrogen & Ammonia have been given various leverages by the Government of India such as:

  • Ministry of New & Renewable energy will establish a single window portal for all clearances, approvals & permission pertaining to Production, Storage, transportation distribution.
  • Waiver of interstate transmission charges for 25 years.
  • Open access to source renewable energy within 15 days of receipt of duly filled application.
  • Banking of renewable energy for 30 days.
  • Permission to build bunkers near ports for storage & transportation. Land for such bunkers shall be provided by respective port authorities.
  • Consumption of renewable energy shall be counted in RPO Compliances.
  • Distribution licensee may procure & supply renewable energy to producers.
  • Land in renewable energy park can be allotted to producers for Green Hydrogen Plant, subject to availability.

Risks and challenges –

Green hydrogen is a promising solution to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. However, its widespread adoption is hampered by certain risks. One of the major risks is the high cost of production, which is currently more expensive than traditional hydrogen production methods. Presently 1Kg Green Hydrogen will cost around 2$ which is quite expensive as compared to Hydrogen produced from fossil fuels. Along with the cost the current installed renewable base is 127 Gigawatts, whereas the country expects requirement of 125 Gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030 for production linked to incentive programme. This could limit the development and deployment of green hydrogen technologies.

Additionally, there is a lack of infrastructure for green hydrogen production, storage, and distribution, including a pipeline network for hydrogen transport and the installation of hydrogen refuelling stations. Technical challenges such as advanced electrolysis technologies, storage, and transport of hydrogen, along with competition with other clean energy solutions and potential social and environmental impacts, also need consideration. Along with this there has to be worldwide consensus on the definition of Green Hydrogen because the European Union’s delegated acts which covers Hydrogen from renewable fuels of non-biological origin is having different definition of Green Hydrogen from that of Indian Context of Green Hydrogen.

Legal & Regulatory Aspect of Green Hydrogen:

As of now there is no unified legislation which deals specifically with the legal & regulatory aspect of the Green Hydrogen & Ammonia but there are various other enactments which may cater to the requirement of legal framework with regards to Green Hydrogen & Ammonia till the time parliament makes any dedicated law for Green Hydrogen & Ammonia. Few of them are as follows:

  • The Environmental Protection Act, 1986
  • The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
  • The Manufacture, Storage, and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules, 1989
  • Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling, and Trans-boundary Movement) Rules, 1989
  • Factories Act as amended up to date.
  • Chemical Accidents (Emergency, Planning, Preparedness, and Response) Rules, 1996

Major Breakthrough:

The pace with which the Government of India & Indian Companies are marching ahead in the field of Green Hydrogen is phenomenal and is giving us the hope that our country may lead the international market in the sector of Green Hydrogen if we continue to moving ahead like this. As few of the major works done in the sector are as:

  • Govt. approved an incentive plan of 174.9 billion rupees to promote Green Hydrogen.
  • Five states including Maharashtra & Gujarat have announced benefits such as low-cost electricity and duty reimbursements.
  • NTPC is developing India’s first Hydrogen-to-electricity project using solid-oxide electrolysers and fuel cell technology.
  • Indian renewable energy developer ACME Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Karnataka government to develop an integrated solar to green hydrogen to green ammonia facility worth Rs52,000 crore (US$7 billion). The facility will produce 1.2 million tons per year (mtpa) of green hydrogen by 2027 in Karnataka.
  • ACME Solar, an ACME Group company, has commissioned the world’s first commercial pilot of an integrated green hydrogen and green ammonia production facility in Bikaner, Rajasthan.
  • ReNew Power announced a joint venture with state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for green hydrogen production.
  • In July 2022, India & Egypt signed a MoU to invest US$8bn to set up a green hydrogen plant in the Suez Canal Economic Zone with a 150 megawatt (MW) electrolyser capacity powered by 570MW of renewable energy to produce 20,000 tonnes of green hydrogen annually.
  • State-owned oil and gas companies such as IOC, Oil India Limited (OIL) and GAIL (India) Limited have announced green hydrogen projects.
  • Along with this various other Public Sector Units have announced the setting up Green Hydrogen Plants.
  • Recently the Govt. of India announced the country’s first green hydrogen subsidy auction. The auction is capped at a total of 4,50,000 tonnes-a-year of capacity. Bidders will only able to receive a maximum of 50 rupees ($0.60) per kilogram in the first year of a green hydrogen plant’s operation, shrinking to 40 rupees/kg in the second and 30 rupees/kg in the third and final year of the subsidy. Solar Energy Corporation of India will be responsible for the auction.


Green hydrogen is gaining traction as a promising solution towards a sustainable energy future, with its production from renewable sources through electrolysis. Several countries and companies are investing in research, development, and deployment of green hydrogen technologies. India’s Green Hydrogen Mission aims to achieve 1 GW of electrolysis capacity by 2022, scaling up to 10 GW by 2030, with the setting up of green hydrogen hubs across the country. However, challenges such as high production costs, infrastructure, and technical aspects need addressing to achieve the full potential of green hydrogen coupled with the worldwide accepted definition for Green Hydrogen. Overall, while the risks associated with green hydrogen are relatively low compared to other fuels, proper safety protocols and measures are essential to prevent accidents and ensure safe and sustainable deployment of green hydrogen technologies. As the use of green hydrogen continues to grow, it will be important to learn from past incidents and implement best practices to mitigate risks and ensure safe and responsible use of this promising clean energy solution.

In conclusion, while there are challenges that need to be addressed, India is making significant progress towards being ready to handle the deployment of green hydrogen technologies and with its untapped potential of renewable energy and with such advancements in the field India has the capabilities to lead & guide the world in the production, storage, transportation, distribution & usage of Green Hydrogen as future fuel for the common man.

Author – Akhand Chauhan, Partner

Co- Author – Shyamli Shukla, Associate

Article Repost  –