UP’s Green Hydrogen Policy 2023 to Help Achieve 1 Million Tonne Production Capacity, Create 1,20,000 Jobs: UPNEDA Chief

Uttar Pradesh is set to emerge as a frontrunner in the field of green hydrogen market with its goal to achieve 1 million tonne per annum (mtpa) green hydrogen production capacity.

In an interview to News18, Anupam Shukla, Director, Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA), said the state is ready with its Green Hydrogen Policy 2023 which will play a pivotal role in achieving 1 mtpa green hydrogen production capacity. UPNEDA is the nodal agency designation for the implementation of the solar energy policy, bio energy policy, and other renewable energy schemes.

Edited excerpts:

What is green hydrogen and how is its production going to boost UP’s economy?

Green hydrogen’s principal purpose is to help limit global warming, reduce dependence on fossil fuel by replacing grey hydrogen, and provide for an expanded set of end-uses in specific economic sectors. Green hydrogen is produced by the process of electrolysis of water using renewable energy or using banked renewable energy. Biomassbased hydrogen, produced using pyrolysis of biogas or other biomass products, is also classified as green hydrogen.

To promote green hydrogen production and this sector in the state, we have prepared a draft of Uttar Pradesh Green Hydrogen Policy 2023, which is likely to get the government’s nod soon. Our goal is to achieve 1 million tonne per annum (mtpa) green hydrogen production capacity and generate 120,000 jobs.

In this regard, we will also establish two centres of excellence dedicated to research and innovation in green hydrogen. It was during Global Investor Summit (GIS) 2023 that the UP government received the investment proposals worth Rs 2.73 trillion for green hydrogen plants from 20 leading companies. Of these, the process to ensure the implementation of nine projects, having capacity of about 12,000MW by five developer companies, is already underway.

The much awaited ground-breaking ceremony is slated to be held on February 19. What can we expect from it when it comes to the renewable energy sector?

We are ready for the show. In the Global Investor Summit (GIS) 2023, UPNEDA received a total investment proposal worth Rs 7.5 lakh crore in the renewable energy sector. Of these, we are ready with 111 projects, including 32 solar energy projects worth Rs 45000 crore, 74 bio energy projects worth Rs 5,000 crore and five pumped storage projects.

The UP government has allocated over 6,000 acres of land in the last couple of months for the implementation of the project.

The government has planned to transform 17 cities, including pilgrim cities like Ayodhya and Varanasi, into solar cities. What measures are being taken to facilitate this mega transformation?

Ayodhya is the first city to be developed as the model solar city under the UP government’s Solar City Programme. The program includes installation of solar rooftops, solar high masts, solar street lights, solar trees, solar cold storage, solar boats, solar parks, and solar water, the establishment of kiosks and solar energization of pump stations etc.

In addition, the government has also sanctioned an amount of Rs 28.2 crore to facilitate the transformation. More than 2,500 solar lights have been installed in Ayodhya along with other amenities such as ATMs and solar trees on around 40 intersections.

Not only in Ayodhya, equal efforts are being made in Varanasi, too, where there are plans to install rooftop solar plants across government buildings. As per the plan, more than 25,000 rooftop solar plans would be installed on the roofs of the government offices.

UPNEDA is also organising programs to promote special communication in districts like Kanpur, Varanasi, Aligarh etc to increase the adoption of rooftop solar. We have decided to train 3,000 Surya Mitras this year.

In further efforts, training centers have been set up at several locations (Chinhat-Lucknow, Ghosi-Mau, Siyarmau-Kannauj and in tie-up with various ITI institutes) to ensure wider access to skill development programs under Surya Mitra Yojana. Of the 1,900 youth who have been trained so far, 65 have successfully secured employment and 90 have taken up self-employment ventures.

How many solar projects and bio-energy projects are underway in UP?

In the next two years, some of the major projects to be started include solar parks in UP’s Jhansi – 600 MW, Lalitpur – 600 MW and Chitrakoot – 800 MW. The process of land acquisition has been completed 90% in Jhansi, 75% in Lalitpur and 60% in Chitrakoot. These projects ranging between Rs 4,000-5,000 crore will be implemented by Tusco Limited.

UPNEDA has partnered with central PSUs like THDC, NHPC and SECI to implement utility-scale solar projects in the state.

Apart from this, Solar Park in UP’s Jalaun – 1200 MW, Kalpi Solar Power Project – 65 MW, Madhogarh Solar Power Project – 45 MW and Mirzapur Solar Power Project – 100 MW will be implemented by BSUL. LSPDCL is implementing Jalaun Solar Park (Dakor) – 40 MW, Jalaun Solar Park (Guna) – 75 MW, Jalaun Solar Park – (Parasan) – 75 MW and Kanpur Dehat Solar Park (Gujarai) – 50 MW.

Besides, LSPDCL has already established Prayagraj Solar Park and Mirzapur Solar Park – 75 MW. The government is also promoting bio-energy projects and aiming to set up at least 1 bioenergy project in every tehsil of the state. The government has given approval for 80 bio-energy projects, costing Rs 2,960 crore.

How can the renewable energy sector help Uttar Pradesh achieve the goal of being $1 trillion economy?

In the last seven years, the renewable energy capacity in the state has been increased to a total of 4300 MW by using 2100 MW solar energy and 2200 MW bioenergy. To further maximise the capacity, the government has released the UP Solar Energy Policy 2022 and Bioenergy Policy 2022.

The government is committed to the sustainable development of the state through energy transition. To achieve the goal of creating a $1 trillion economy, UPNEDA, the nodal agency designated for renewable energy works in the state, is promoting the use of various sources of renewable energy. So far, about 302 MW capacity solar rooftop plants have been installed in the state.

In total, solar rooftop plants have been installed in 1,527 buildings of additional social institutions/educational institutions/government/semi-government, industrial and commercial institutions. And to further promote the use of solar rooftops, UPNEDA has also launched various awareness drives in the districts like Ayodhya, Ghaziabad, Varanasi, Kanpur, Aligarh etc to make the masses aware of the benefits of solar energy.

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