World Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day (H2FC Day) is annually observed on October 8 to recognise the importance of the chemical element, Hydrogen, and its role in the transition towards a cleaner and more equitable energy future.
- The day aimed at promoting awareness and understanding of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy source, along with the versatile technology of fuel cells.
i.In June 2015, the Senate of the United States of America (USA) designated the 8th October of every year as ‘‘National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day’’.
- The idea of the observance was initiated by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA), the trade association for the fuel cell and hydrogen energy industry in the USA.
ii.The first H2FC Day was observed on 8th October 2015.
Why October 8?
October 8th written in mm/dd format (10/08) refers to the atomic weight of hydrogen (1.008) therefore 8th October was chosen to observe the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day.
Types of Hydrogen:
i.Hydrogen is classified into several types based on its production methods and the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions it can generate.
ii.Each category has its own advantages and disadvantages compared to the others:
Green hydrogen: It is produced by electrolysis of water using electricity generated from Renewable Energy (RE) sources.
Blue Hydrogen: It is derived from hydrocarbons like natural gas, but carbon capture is employed to reduce its emissions impact.
- While not produced directly from RE sources, it is considered cleaner than grey hydrogen.
Grey hydrogen: It comes from fossil fuels. Although it is obtained in a similar way to blue hydrogen, CO2 emissions are not controlled so pollution is higher.
i.A fuel Cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device, that utilises Hydrogen and Oxygen to generate electricity, heat, and water.
ii.It uses the chemical energy of hydrogen or other fuels to cleanly and efficiently produce electricity.
i.It can operate at higher efficiencies than combustion engines and can convert the chemical energy in the fuel directly to electrical energy with efficiencies capable of exceeding 60%.
ii.Fuel cells have lower or zero emissions compared to combustion engines. There also are no air pollutants.
i.H2FC Day serves as a platform to acknowledge the potential of hydrogen and fuel cells in addressing the pressing challenges of climate change, energy security, and environmental sustainability.
ii.Hydrogen and fuel cells can be used in multiple sectors for transportation, stationary power, and so on enabling energy security, resiliency, etc in emerging technologies.
iii.Hydrogen is composed to play a substantial role in the global energy mix, potentially representing up to 12% of total energy production by 2050, with a notable reduction in associated costs.
World Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day Celebrations in India:
On October 7, 2023, the eve of World H2FC Day, the Government of India (GoI) organised an event in New Delhi, Delhi to explore the potential of hydrogen as a green and sustainable energy.
- The event was organised by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), in association with Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited, and gathered hydrogen experts from the industry, academia, and government.
Roadmap for the National Green Hydrogen Mission:
During the event, the MNRE unveiled the Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap for the “National Green Hydrogen Mission”, with a budget of Rs. 400 crores.
- This aims to guide the development of a robust research and development ecosystem for the commercialisation of green hydrogen and contribute to India’s ambitious climate and energy goals.
i.The roadmap emphasizes the development of materials, technologies, and infrastructure to improve the efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of green hydrogen production, storage, and transportation.
ii.The R&D program also prioritizes safety and addresses technical barriers to developing a hydrogen economy.
National Single Window System (NSWS):
i.The event also marked the launch of the National Single Window System (NSWS) Green Hydrogen page for approvals under the National Green Hydrogen Mission. This will enable industry stakeholders to obtain all approvals related to projects under the Mission.
MNRE in association with the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance organised a roundtable meeting to create synergy between the banking system and green hydrogen developers.
- This aims to facilitate access to low-cost finance and thus lower the cost of green hydrogen.