Massive green push: Reliance Industries to invest Rs 75,000 crore in 3 years

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June 25, 2021 5:15 AM

“Reliance will establish and enable at least 100 giga-watt (GW) of solar energy by 2030,” Ambani said. India has set a target to raise renewable energy capacity to 450 GW by 2030 from 95 GW at present.

RIL will invest over Rs 60,000 crore in the next three years in these plants in the Jamnagar complex alone.RIL will invest over Rs 60,000 crore in the next three years in these plants in the Jamnagar complex alone.

Sticking to its plan to achieve net-zero carbon status earlier than its global peers by 2035, Reliance Industries (RIL) on Thursday unveiled a mega plan for green and clean energy business. The company would make initial investments of Rs 75,000 crore out of its internal resources in the burgeoning area over the next three years, chairman Mukesh Ambani announced at the 44th AGM.

Stating that work had already begun on developing the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex on 5,000 acres in Jamnagar, Ambani said the facility would include manufacturing units for solar cells and modules, a battery unit for energy storage, a fuel cell-making factory and an electrolyser plant to produce green hydrogen. The business would provide end-to-end solutions for building and running large renewable plants, rooftop solar and decentralised solar installations in villages, he added.

“Reliance will establish and enable at least 100 giga-watt (GW) of solar energy by 2030,” Ambani said. India has set a target to raise renewable energy capacity to 450 GW by 2030 from 95 GW at present.

In sync with the global commitment among countries and firms to reduce the use of high-emitting fossil fuels and reduce their carbon footprints, global energy majors like BP, Total and Royal Dutch Shell announced plans to get net-zero carbon tag by 2050; Reliance, despite being a hydrocarbon-intensive company, had announced a more ambitious target last year to met the coveted goal by 2035. Tech giants like Microsoft and Apple aim to meet the target by 2030.

“We will use green hydrogen and carbon dioxide as raw materials to develop a road map for new green chemicals, green fertilisers and e-fuels”, Ambani said. Solar and wind plants can produce green hydrogen using electrolysers through the electrolysis process, wherein the electricity generated from renewable energy is put in water to create hydrogen and oxygen.

RIL will invest over Rs 60,000 crore in the next three years in these plants in the Jamnagar complex alone.

RIL’s announcement follows the government approving the Rs 4,500-crore solar production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme in April to boost the domestic solar and cell manufacturing capacity. Beneficiaries of the scheme will be selected on the basis of manufacturing capacity proposed to be set up and the extent of elementary products required for manufacturing solar panels they promise to make in the country.

RIL would start with raw silica, convert it to poly silicon, which would be further converted to ingot and wafers, These subsequently would be used to make solar cells and modules. Polysilicon, wafers and cells are the basic building blocks for making solar modules, and the minuscule manufacturing base of these products result in continued reliance on imports.

In May, the government had also approved the PLI scheme on ACC battery storage, with an outlay of Rs 18,100 crore, for achieving manufacturing capacity of 50 gigawatt-hour (GWh). “We will collaborate with global leaders in battery technology to achieve the highest reliability for round-the-clock power availability through a combination of generation, storage, and grid connectivity,” Ambani stated.

The RIL chief also said Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Saudi Aramco, will join RIL’s board as an independent director. In August 2019, RIL said it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to sell a 20% stake in its O2C business to Saudi Aramco. The O2C business includes RIL’s refining and petrochemical divisions, and RIL’s 51% stake in its fuel marketing business. “I expect our partnership to be formalised in an expeditious manner during this year, after obtaining required regulatory clearances,” Ambani said.

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