Punjab must be made hub of producing green hydrogen, says Gadkari

Source : PTI | Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday described hydrogen as the fuel of the future and said Punjab should be made an international hub of producing the green fuel. He also urged Punjab farmers not to burn stubble, saying the crop residue can be used in producing ethanol, hydrogen, and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for their further use as fuel.

The minister for road transport and highways was addressing a gathering after inaugurating and laying foundation stones of 29 national highway projects worth INR 4,000 crore in Punjab.

Green hydrogen can be made out of crop residue like wheat straw, paddy straw, bagasse, Gadkari said, adding that efforts are on to keep the cost of 1 kg hydrogen to below USD 1.

“Hydrogen is the fuel of the future. Our country imports energy and in the coming time, the country should become an energy exporter,” Gadkari said.

Gadkari said during a recent meeting he had urged Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to make the state an international hub of producing green hydrogen as the state has stubble and biomass.

He said hydrogen can be used in running railway engines, airplanes, trucks, buses, and cars.

The Union minister said farmers in Punjab need to be made ‘Urjadaata’ (energy provider).

Gadkari asked farmers not to burn stubble. “We have got a technology whereby bitumen can be made from stubble,” he said, adding that a project will be started in Haryana where one lakh litres of ethanol and 150 tonne of bitumen will be made from one lakh tonne of paddy stubble.

He further said a few companies have also come up with ethanol-powered bikes and auto-rickshaws.

The minister said Indian Oil will also set up 300 ethanol pumps in the country.

Gadkari said when the BJP came to power under the leadership of Narendra Modi in 2014, it was decided that the country’s infrastructure will be given top priority.

He emphasised that good infrastructure was essential for a country’s progress.