Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has reiterated the government’s commitment to alternate energy. In an interaction with CNBC-TV18, Gadkari said green hydrogen is the “way forward” and the “future of India''.
Responding to questions on the government releasing the first phase of its green hydrogen policy, and Indian conglomerate's enthusiastic response to it, Gadkari was quick to respond, “there are different types of hydrogen — black hydrogen from coal and hydrogen from petroleum products. But my request to all manufacturers is that we need green hydrogen, because the government has a commitment for ecology and environment.”
On jobs generation, he said that the alternate energy space has potential to create 50-60 lakh jobs in India.
On how the adoption of green hydrogen would be in the near term, Nitin Gadkari gave a personal example of his hometown Nagpur selling their sewage water to the Maharashtra Government for power generation, adding that “the most important thing in green hydrogen is the cost of power”.
He added that methods to reduce the cost of power generation and use of biomass to produce green hydrogen would be key.
On the cost analysis, Gadkari said that the cost of electricity would be key to bringing down the overall cost. “By putting solar on the rooftop and a small windmill, we can reduce the cost of power to less than Rs 2.20 per unit, and by which it will be in a position to make the cost of green hydrogen less than $1/kg. I am confident we can do this,” he said.
He also addressed the need for generators to compress green energy, adding: “Presently we use diesel for generators, which costs Rs 110, in place of that we can use bioethanol which will reduce the cost to Rs 62-60.
On technology, Gadkari was very optimistic. He shared a “new research by Russian scientists that has been tested by Indian Oil for three-four months, by which the caloric value of ethanol is the same as petrol”.
“So now, by this technology, 1 litre of ethanol is equal to 1 litre of petrol, by which we get the same mileage from both products. This can be a great revolution in the country,” he added.
Further, Gadkari noted that boosting agricultural growth through alternate energy is key.
“We get organic waste (from agri activities) by which we will get methane and from methane we get green hydrogen. At the same time agro-biomass (e.g. cotton straw, wheat straw, rice straw) can also be used for making green hydrogen,” he added.
“This is the future and I am confident that Indian scientists and researchers are doing excellent job. In due course of time we will be in the leading position in the world as far as green hydrogen is concerned,” Gadkari said.
Watch Nitin Gadkari’s full interaction with CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan on the government’s response to the EV fire incidents, Elon Musk bringing Tesla to India, making India a motown hub and the alternative energy space here