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Reliance will build solar manufacturing units, a battery factory for energy storage, a fuel cell-making factory and an electrolyser unit to produce green hydrogen as a part of the business

Mumbai, NFAPost: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani on Thursday announced a Rs 75,000 crore investment in setting up four ‘Giga’ factories to make solar photovoltaic cells, green hydrogen, batteries and fuel cells over the next three years.

Addressing the company’s annual shareholder meeting, he said Reliance will set up 100 GW of solar power generating capacity, mostly through rooftop installations and de-centrali\sed operations in villages.

Reliance will build solar manufacturing units, a battery factory for energy storage, a fuel cell-making factory and an electrolyser unit to produce green hydrogen as a part of the business.

“We plan to build four Giga Factories to manufacture and integrate all critical components of new energy ecosystem solar photovoltaic module factory, energy storage battery factory, electrolyser factory, fuel cell factory,” Mukesh Ambani said.

These four factories will involve an investment of Rs 60,000 crore. “We will invest an additional Rs 15,000 crore in the value chain, partnerships and future technologies, including upstream and downstream industries. Thus, our overall investment in the new energy business will be Rs 75,000 crore in 3 years,” he said.

Last year, Mukesh Ambani had announced a 15-year commitment to become net carbon zero by 2035. “The age of fossil fuels, which powered economic growth globally for nearly three centuries, cannot continue much longer,” he said.

“In 2016, we launched Jio with the aim of bridging the Digital Divide in India. Now, in 2021, we are launching our new energy business with the aim of bridging the green energy divide in India and globally. Reliance will build solar manufacturing units, a battery factory for energy storage, a fuel cell-making factory and an electrolyzer unit to produce green hydrogen as a part of the business,” Mukesh Ambani said.

As a part of the new business – called the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex – Reliance will also build solar capacities of at least 100 GW by 2030, Asia’s richest man told his shareholders at the meeting which was held virtually due to Covid-19.

That would account for over a fifth of India’s renewable energy target of installing 450 GW by 2030. India wants green energy sources to make up 40% of electricity generated by the end of this decade. “A significant part of this will come from rooftop solar and decentralised solar installations in villages,” Mukesh Ambani said.

Reliance’s pivot toward a cleaner, greener version of its legacy businesses underscores the new world order for the energy sector. Global giants such as Exxon Mobil Corp. are under pressure to pare their carbon footprint while local rival tycoons including India’s second-richest man, Gautam Adani, are doubling down on their green initiatives and stoking a stock rally. The green agenda also has the broader policy backing in India and is one of the top priorities for the Narendra Modi-led government.

“We will transform our legacy business into sustainable, circular and net-zero carbon materials business. One that will provide growing returns over several decades,” Ambani said in his speech. “And we will do this by re-purposing our existing assets to extend their economic life and earning capacity,” said Mukesh Ambani.

Reliance last year set itself a target of becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2035 – a shorter time frame compared to the self-imposed 2050 cut-off of many of its global peers including BP Plc. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Ambani’s group bought its first cargo of carbon-neutral crude oil in February and said it was looking for more such partnerships.

India’s government plans to expand its renewable energy capacity nearly five-fold to 450 gigawatts by 2030, as the nation aims to reduce its dependence on coal.

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