Last week, the union cabinet in India approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission. To promote green hydrogen, the government of India has approved a budget of Rs 19,744 crore. It was officially notified that an incentive scheme of Rs 19,744 crore has been approved for this mission. The language indicates that this would be to subsidize companies that would invest in the sector. In this way, the recent trend of giving public financing to the private sector in the semiconductor and other sectors will continue. There is as yet no indication whether there is any form of public scrutiny over such incentivized ventures. Is this directly part of the idea of giving taxpayers’ money to private companies and seeing their prosperity as the development of the country? Such schemes have already been implemented in many countries of the world. But there is no evidence of any benefit to the common people from them.
However, under the Green Hydrogen Mission, India is expected to meet the target of 5 million tons of hydrogen production capacity by 2030. The government says that this decision is expected to reduce imports of fossil fuels such as crude oil, coal, etc. by up to one lakh crore rupees. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 50 million tons. The goal of this mission is to make the country a center for clean energy production by eliminating dependence on fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel. If the scheme succeeds, people will have an alternative to expensive petrol and diesel. It is true that green hydrogen is a kind of clean energy. It is produced by electrolysis using renewable energy and the production process is completely CO2-free. But the question is, is grant-making the only way to get private sector companies involved in such an effort?