Punjab, a northern state in India, is focusing on biomass for its green hydrogen production. With an aim to produce 100,000 metric tons per year, the state plans to utilize agricultural residues for energy, differentiating it from other Indian states that prioritize renewable electricity for hydrogen production.
The northern Indian state of Punjab has recently announced a unique approach to green hydrogen production, with a focus on using biomass. According to its newly published green hydrogen policy, the state aims to produce 100,000 metric tons of green hydrogen annually.
Punjab's agricultural backbone provides a significant advantage for this green initiative. The state produces large quantities of agricultural residues such as paddy straw and biomass waste from husk, sugarcane, cotton, and sunflower stalks. The government aims to channel these abundant resources into energy production, including green hydrogen.
Interestingly, Punjab's policy diverges from the approach taken by most other Indian states, which prioritize hydrogen production through renewable electricity. The state government has outlined that biomass can be used to produce hydrogen via gasification, a process that results in comparatively lower emissions. However, the policy does not mention the potential use of carbon capture technology, which could further reduce emissions.
While Punjab's hydrogen production goals may seem modest compared to other states, they are noteworthy in their own right. For context, Punjab’s 100,000 metric tons per year target constitutes about 2% of India’s overall goal to produce 5 million metric tons of green hydrogen by 2030. Other states like Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat have set much loftier goals.
To facilitate the implementation of its green hydrogen policy, Punjab plans to offer various incentives. These include subsidies for capital costs on the production side, direct operating support for consumption, and additional financial support to stimulate hydrogen use in mobility, particularly for early adopters. These incentives are in line with those proposed by other states and aim to make Punjab a competitive player in the green hydrogen market.
The Punjab Energy Development Agency (Peda) will oversee the implementation of the policy. The agency is currently in consultation with various stakeholders to fine-tune the draft policy, which also outlines subsidies for biomass-based hydrogen production projects, companies consuming green hydrogen, and hydrogen-powered vehicles and refuelling stations.
Punjab's new green hydrogen policy marks a distinct approach, leveraging the state's agricultural strengths for sustainable energy production. While the state's targets may not be as ambitious as those of others, its focus on biomass differentiates it and offers a sustainable path forward in India's broader green hydrogen landscape.