India planning hydrogen fuelled vehicles by 2020

London, February 18:

India is ready with its roadmap for use of hydrogen as fuel and by 2020 the country will have one million vehicles running on it, said Vilas Muttemwar, minister for non-conventional energy resources.

Speaking to the BBC Hindi service, the minister said that renewable energy resources were the answer to India’s spiralling energy needs. “We have been slow to respond to face the challenge of our energy requirements, but we are fast catching up. If powerful nations like America, China, Japan, Canada and Germany have a roadmap for hydrogen energy, so have we. By the year 2020, we will have one million vehicles on our roads which would be running on hydrogen fuel.”

He said India had large resources of renewable energy, including a potential of five trillion MW of solar energy, 70,000 MW of wind energy and more than 200,000 MW of hydrogen energy. “We are now tapping this potential to meet our requirements.” Admitting India’s lack of planning in the energy sector over the years, Muttemwar said the country was currently facing a gap between its energy needs and resources. A change of mindset was essential to understand the importance of renewable energy resources if the country was to overcome the challenge in this sector.

Asked why resources of renewable energy were not gaining popularity, he replied, “There is a widespread impression that usage of renewable resources of energy is less cost effective in comparison to the conventional resources. I agree that the capital cost is high, but what we need to understand is that there is no recurring expenditure in the usage of renewable resources.”