Question – Discussing “The budget-2021 for Green Energy”, explain the need for Green Hydrogen.

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Question – Discussing “The budget-2021 for Green Energy”, explain the need for Green Hydrogen. – 12 May 

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The year 2020 will be marked as a year of unique changes in the power and renewable sector. While a significant change has been observed in the supply chain and consumption due to low demand and rising input costs, the pandemic also facilitated the energy transition in India. The government has played a significant leadership role by reviving the sector by providing various incentives and by announcing a much needed stimulus package for allied sectors like green energy and EVs. Additionally, the renewable energy targets were revised from 175 GW to a more ambitious 220 GW (GW) by 2022, to give a thrust to the “Aatmnirbhar- Bharat” agenda.

Key points:

  • Budget reforms specifically focus on green development.
  • This initiative is expected to increase cleaner fuel consumption in India.
  • Through this budget year 2021-22, emphasis has been laid on solar manufacturing, vehicle scrap policy, and the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme in the Hydrogen Energy Mission.
  • The PLI scheme has also been extended to the Advanced Chemistry Cell- ACC.
  • The budget emphasized green hydrogen as a technological development and energy storage with a long-term goal towards reducing dependence on minerals and rare-element-based batteries.
  • This is for the first time that innovative financing is being proposed for 20,000 buses with private financing of 18,000 crore and public-private partnership. This will bring revolution in the field of public transport systems and buses functioning in India.
  • This initiative aims to reduce dependence on private vehicles and thus ultimately reduce carbon footprint.

Vehicle Scrapping Policy

  • This policy will be started to expel old and unsuitable vehicles out of circulation.
  • Under the scheme, private vehicles over 20 years old and commercial vehicles older than 15 years will be eligible for scrap.
  • This will help in promoting fuel efficient, environment friendly vehicles which will reduce the pollution of vehicles and oil import expenditure account.
  • After the completion of the stipulated period, the vehicles will be subjected to a fitness test at the automated fitness centers.

National Hydrogen Energy Mission:

  • The National Hydrogen Energy Mission aims to reduce petroleum use, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and contribute to a more diverse and efficient energy infrastructure.
  • Hydrogen energy mission is proposed to be started in the year 2021-22 to generate hydrogen from green energy sources.
  • The Green Hydrogen Mission is not only necessary to reduce carbon emissions from heavy industries such as steel and cement, but is also important to pave the way for clean energy-based electric vehicles (which are not based on the use of rare elements).

Green Energy and Government:

India among the leading countries: India is in the list of leading countries in the renewable energy sector.

  1. India ranks fifth in the world in terms of its energy economy.
  2. India is the fourth largest installed solar energy potential country in the world and the third largest installed renewable energy capacity in the world.

Solar Power: Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission- JNNSM) aims to achieve 20 GW of solar power capacity by the year 2022.

  1. However, in the Union Budget of 2015, the target of solar power capacity was increased from 20 GW to 100 GW by
  2. India’s total solar power capacity has increased more than 11 times between 2014 and June 2020, from 6 GW to 38 GW.
  3. To encourage domestic production, the tariff on solar inverters has been increased from 5% to 20% and on solar lamps from 5% to 15%.

Renewable Energy: The Government of India has set a target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by the end of the year 2022.

  1. This includes achieving 60 GW from wind power, 100 GW from solar power, 10 GW from biomass energy and 5 GW from small hydro power.
  2. Renewable energy capacity in India is currently 136 GW, which is about 36% of its total energy capacity.
  3. A target to expand the renewable energy capacity to 450 GW by 2030 was announced.

Green Energy and Infrastructure Development:The budget is mainly focused on spending in the area of infrastructure development.

  1. However, in the present context, the energy involved should be clean energy.
  2. Currently solar power is available at Rs. 2 / unit which is cheaper than the energy generated from the new coal power plant.
  3. Domestic manufacturing capacity has been increased by PLI schemes for the manufacture of solar panels. Through the budget of 2021-22, the PLI scheme has been extended to 10 sectors including manufacturing of automobile, pharma, electronic / technology products and advanced chemical cell batteries (for electric vehicles).

Why green hydrogen?

  • Hydrogen can serve as an energy storage option, which will be an essential option to fill the renewable energy spaces in the future.
  • This is a very important initiative for the freight or long distance movement of passengers. Hydrogen may be used in railways, large ships, buses, or trucks where electric vehicles cannot be used due to lack of sufficient capacity for long-distance travel.
  • Hydrogen has the potential to achieve major renewable energy targets, along with basic infrastructure.
  • Many countries in the world like Japan are moving towards adopting hydrogen as the energy medium of the future. Germany and several other European Union countries have already set an ambitious green hydrogen policy. Even countries like the United Arab Emirates and Australia, which are traditionally considered backward to climate action, are moving towards green hydrogen.

Moving towards green energy is indeed an all-round advantage; it will not only promote the use of clean energy for a clean environment, but will also promote various sectors of manufacturing and employment.

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