regular-article-logo Sunday, 24 September 2023

Union power minister R.K. Singh points to Bengal government's green hydrogen policy lag

PM Vishwakarma will be implemented and if the state government helps, maybe implementation will be better, the minister said

A Staff Reporter Calcutta Published 18.09.23, 11:24 AM
R.K. Singh

R.K. Singh File picture

Union power minister R.K. Singh on Sunday said the Bengal government may need to come out with a comprehensive road map on green hydrogen amid its rising importance as a viable energy alternative.

“We have announced a policy. Different states have announced incentives. I am not aware that West Bengal has announced anything,” the minister said. He was in the city to promote the PM Vishwakarma scheme announced by the central government.


Earlier in January the Union cabinet had approved the national green hydrogen mission, where it is envisaged the country will produce 5 million metric tonne per annum of green hydrogen by 2030. The mission has an initial outlay of Rs 19,744 crore and the government has estimated investments of Rs 8 lakh crore.

“Bengal’s neighbour Odisha has emerged as one of the leading states for setting up green hydrogen projects. A number of developers have gone there because Odisha has come out with a policy on green hydrogen projects under which they give land at low lease rates and there are some other concessions. They are getting investments of about Rs 3-4 lakh crores,” Singh said.

The minister last Friday had said that while the average price of power in the energy exchange has recently been Rs 8 per unit, round-the-clock renewable energy will cost around Rs 6 per unit if green hydrogen is used for storage.

Green hydrogen can be used as a storage medium to balance the intermittency of renewable sources.

Bengal, however, has taken initial steps towards the manufacture of green hydrogen: state power minister Aroop Biswas had earlier said that a green hydrogen plant is being set up by DPL and it is expected to be operational soon as a pilot project.

Singh further rued the lack of participation from the state government ministers and officials at Sunday’s event.

“The programme (PM Vishwakarma) will be implemented. If the state government helps, maybe implementation will be better,” he said.

Under the Vishwakarma scheme, the government will offer up to 8 per cent subsidy for loans given to artisans .

The government has already made a provision of Rs 13,000 crore in the budget.

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