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India’s first hydrogen bus trial runs start on Ladakh roads

Towards achieving Carbon-Neutral Ladakh, NTPC is setting up Hydrogen Fuelling Station, Solar Plant and providing 05 Nos Fuel Cell buses for operation on intracity routes of Leh.

India’s first deployment of hydrogen fuelled buses on public roads has started in Ladakh with government-owned power giant NTPC launching its intracity trial run in Leh.

“Towards achieving Carbon-Neutral Ladakh, NTPC is setting up a Hydrogen Fuelling Station, Solar Plant and providing 5 buses powered with Fuel Cell for operation on intracity routes of Leh,” the company said.

The first hydrogen bus reached Leh on 17th August as part of a 3-month-long process of field-trials, roadworthiness tests and other statutory procedures.

The first of its kind Green Hydrogen Mobility Project at 11,562 ft is co-located with a dedicated Solar plant of 1.7 MW for providing renewable power. The fuel cell buses are designed for operation in sub-zero temperature in rarefied atmosphere, typical to such altitude locations which is a unique feature of this project, the company said.

NTPC is committed to achieve 60 GW of Renewable Energy capacity by 2032 and be a major player in Green Hydrogen Technology and Energy Storage domain. The company is taking up several initiatives towards decarbonization such as Hydrogen blending, Carbon Capture, EV buses and Smart NTPC Townships, the public sector company said.

The project forms part of the wider National Hydrogen Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the country’s 75th Independence Day in 2021 to fight climate change.

The Union Cabinet also approved an outlay of Rs 19,744 crore for the National Green Hydrogen Mission from financial year 2023-24 to 2029-30. The overarching objective of the Mission is to make India a global hub for production, usage and export of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives.

The ambitious mission aims to create demand through exports and domestic utilization that will be fed with the development of Green Hydrogen Hubs.

Various Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition (SIGHT) programme, which includes incentives for manufacturing of electrolysers and production of green hydrogen form part of the scheme.

Pilot Projects for steel, mobility and shipping will be taken up under the programme.

India’s Green Hydrogen production capacity is likely to reach 5 MMT per annum, contributing to reduction in dependence on import of fossil fuels. Achievement of Mission targets is expected to reduce a cumulative Rs 1 lakh crore worth of fossil fuel imports by 2030.

Nearly 50 MMT per annum of CO2 emissions are expected to be averted through production and use of the targeted quantum of Green Hydrogen.

Also read: NTPC signs agreement to set up green hydrogen power units for Indian Army