Nepal government approves policy for production and use of green hydrogen

KATHMANDU: In a significant move towards embracing modern green energy, Nepal has paved the way for the production and utilization of green hydrogen. The Council of Ministers convened on Wednesday and approved the policy, marking a crucial step in incorporating green hydrogen as a sustainable energy source in the country.

Ramesh Rijal, Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies, confirmed the development, stating, “The Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday passed the policy to allow the production and use of green hydrogen.”

The initiation of the policy formulation for ‘green hydrogen’ began in Mangsir 2078 BS (November-December 2021), aiming to introduce this environmentally friendly energy solution to Nepal.

Under the leadership of then-Minister for Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation, Pampha Bhusal, the Water and Energy Commission (WEC) received directives to develop the necessary policy for green hydrogen production and utilization.

Subsequently, WEC Secretary Mani Ram Gelal formed a coordination committee, led by Shishir Koirala, a joint secretary of the Commission. The committee included members such as Chiranjeevi Chataut (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Energy), Jeebachh Mandal (Deputy Director General, Power Development Department), Navraj Dhakal (Deputy Executive Director, Alternative Energy Promotion Center), Dr. Bholanath Sharma Ghimire (Professor, Tribhuvan University Institute of Engineering), and Biraj Singh Thapa (Deputy Professor, Kathmandu University).

Biraj Singh Thapa, heading Nepal Hydrogen Initiatives at Kathmandu University, expressed that the government’s approval of the policy enables the official production and utilization of green hydrogen in Nepal.

Prior to the policy approval, Kathmandu University had undertaken a pilot project for hydrogen production in the absence of a specific policy. The university had successfully developed a hydrogen vehicle and established a refueling station.

Thapa emphasized that, with the official policy in place, hydrogen energy could be applied for cooking and transportation in Nepal, potentially reducing the dependence on petroleum products and narrowing the trade deficit.

He outlined the production process, explaining, “For production, the electricity generated at one location will be utilized through the transmission lines of Nepal Electricity Authority to produce hydrogen elsewhere. We are considering concessions and special policy facilitations for utilizing hydropower for hydrogen production, and bringing hydropower into a special category.

Moreover, other renewable energy sources like solar and windmills will also be encouraged for hydrogen production. If these windmill operators show interest in production, we are prepared to offer them special assistance.” Thapa also noted that the government is open to making regulations to enable industries currently using coal or diesel to transition to hydrogen-based power.

Fiscal Nepal |
Thursday January 18, 2024, 12:07:51 PM |

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