The National Hydrogen Energy Board (NHEB) will draw up a plan for the introduction of hydrogen fueled vehicles in the country and also suggest steps to develop hydrogen energy infrastructure in the country, said Vilas Muttemwar, Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy. He was speaking at a conclave on
National Hydrogen Energy Road Map: Opportunities for Public Private Partnership
A National Hydrogen Road Map is being prepared by the Steering Group of the NHEB, headed by Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group. “Under this initiative about 1 million vehicles plying on Indian roads will use hydrogen as fuel. About 75 per cent of them are likely to be two and three wheelers, ” said Muttemwar.
Power plants with a generating capacity of 1000 megawatt (MW) of hydrogen power would be set up by 2020, he added.
Said Ratan Tata, who also attended the conclave: “Hydrogen fuel will become an alternative to fossil fuel on which we can build the national economy.” He however cautions: “Hydrogen based energy may remain elusive for some time because there are major challenges in generating, storing and delivering it. But I am confident that even if we do not, our future generations will definitely have clear fuel.”
In his inaugural address, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission said clean fuels like hydrogen would help to reduce carbon emission. “We should develop more such technologies and put more effort into such research,” he said.
Muttemwar said the target of meeting at least 10 per cent of the country's power needs from renewable power by 2012 was eminently achievable.
India has one of the largest programmes for developing renewable energy technologies in the world. The total power generating capacity in the country as of March 2007 was about 1,33,000 MW. Renewable power generating capacity is about 10,252 MW, or 7.75 per cent of this.
Renewable power technologies include Wind Power (7092 MW) Small Hydro Power (1976 MW), Bio Energy (1187 MW) and 155 MW of grid distributed renewable power.