PM Modi launches National Hydrogen Mission and announces India’s $1.35 trillion infrastructure plan

Emphasizing India’s commitment to expediting its renewable energy initiatives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the National Hydrogen Mission (NHM) during his national address on India’s 75 Independence Day. He said that his government’s aim is to make India a global hub for the production and export of green hydrogen.

Given the increasing concerns over issues of climate change, the potential of hydrogen is being heralded as a game changer in the energy arena. The proposal for NHM was made in the Budget 2021 to launch NHM that would enable the generation of hydrogen “from green power sources”.

Apart from transportation, hydrogen can be a “decarbonising agent” for industries like chemicals, iron, steel, fertiliser and refining, transport, heat and power. Though the details of NHM are yet to emerge, India has taken several exploratory steps in that direction.

In the same address, Prime Minister Modi also announced that India will launch an Rs 100 trillion national infrastructure plan that will help generate jobs and expand the use of cleaner fuels to achieve the country’s climate goals.

The infrastructure program, called Gati Shakti, will help to boost the productivity of industries and therefore boost the economy,  “We will launch a masterplan for Gati Shakti, which will create job opportunities for hundreds of thousands,” said Modi.

Though details of the plan is yet to emerge, he said the plan will help local manufacturers compete globally and create new avenues of future economic growth. This will help to pull back the country from the sharp economic decline worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prime minister also set a target to become energy independent by 2047, saying the goal can be achieved through a mix of electric mobility, moving to a gas-based economy and making the country a hub for hydrogen production. As the country spends more than Rs12 trillion annually on energy imports it is critical for India to become energy independent, he noted. “India is moving fast towards achieving its climate goals,” he added.

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