A mandate for certain Indian industries to use green hydrogen and ammonia, instead of the highly polluting grey variety made from unabated fossil gas, is back on the table.

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“Basically, that mandate fixation is in process. By and large, we have had the discussions and we have come up with some figures, and we will go to the Cabinet soon,” Minister for New and Renewable Energy Raj Kumar Singh reportedly told yesterday’s BNEF Summit in New Delhi.

India currently uses around five million tonnes per year of grey H2, with oil refining and fertilisers making up the vast majority of this consumption.

The minister had originally U-turned on the proposed mandate in January this year, arguing it was no longer necessary since grey hydrogen prices at the time were so high that switching to renewable H2 would save users money.

But as gas prices have gone down, industrial hydrogen and ammonia users have been reluctant to opt for more expensive green options.

As such, since July, officials have been hinting that India’s government would reconsider the mandate, which would require industries such as steel, oil refining, fertiliser production and cement production to consume a minimum percentage of renewable H2 in their overall hydrogen use.

However, the exact share of green H2 is yet to be determined, with Singh noting at yesterday’s conference that “the concerned ministries” for these industries are pushing for lower percentages.

India has recently unveiled its definition of green hydrogen, which includes electrolysis of water via renewable electricity and biomass gasification.

However, although a more detailed metholodology for measuring and reporting emissions will be specified by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, critics have noted that as published, the definition could actually lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions than grey H2.