State sets sights on hydrogen as fuel

State sets sights on hydrogen as fuel

Photo for representational purpose only.

Subhash Rajta

Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 22

Exploring the possibility of generating and using green hydrogen as fuel and promoting power storage projects like pump storage and battery energy storage system are the key features in the draft of the New Power Policy of the state. The policy, which is likely to be revealed soon, will replace the Hydro Power Policy that was notified way back in 2006.

“Green hydrogen is at an early stage of entering the energy sector in India. It’s good that the state government is keen on exploring the possibilities of using hydrogen as fuel in power sector and energy storage projects. All stakeholders in power sector will be happy with this initiative,” said a power sector expert. The draft of the New Power Policy was distributed among various stakeholders on November 6, and they were asked to revert with suggestions by November 30.

“Hydrogen is emerging as an important source of energy since it has zero carbon footprints. Given the abundant availability of water, the state is in an advantageous position as far as the generation of green hydrogen is concerned,” said the expert.

“Also, hydro power projects with storage are assets of immense value. The storage hydro projects will give higher revenue to the state and will help balance renewable power,” he said.

As per the draft, the state aims to divert its surplus energy during summer and monsoon for the generation of green hydrogen. To incentivise the hydrogen generating companies, the government may take measures like offering surplus energy for hydrogen generation through electrolysis near hydro plants or industrial areas. Intra-state transmission charges for power required for green hydrogen generation plants may be exempted and hydrogen generation plants may be exempted from electricity duty etc.

Also, there’s a lot of thrust on promoting and enhancing solar power. The state has set a target of generating 1995 MW energy through solar projects by 2030. The other key objectives put forth in the draft include harnessing and commissioning 10,000 MW of hydro energy by 2030 and have an operation capacity of 20,948 MW, expediting development of hydro-electric projects, promoting and establishing a power trading entity in the state, to protect the rights of local inhabitants for irrigation and drinking water, etc.

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