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Diversified Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL) has targeted installing 20 GW of solar energy generation capacity by 2025.
Addressing RIL’s annual general meeting, Group Chairman Mukesh Ambani said that the solar capacity would entirely cater to the group’s captive needs of round-the-clock power supply and intermittent energy supply for green hydrogen production.
Ambani said RIL aims to install 100 GW of solar energy generation capacity by 2030.
Reliance intends to become a net carbon zero company by 2035. Its renewable energy consumption soared 352% last year, he said.
In October 2021, Reliance acquired REC Solar Holdings, a Norway-headquartered solar cell, modules, and polysilicon manufacturing company known for its high-efficiency solar panels of Heterojunction Technology (HJT). In April 2022, Reliance also inked an agreement with Maxwell Technology, to purchase eight high-efficiency production lines for HJT, each with 600 MW capacity, to manufacture an annual capacity of 4.8 GW of HJT cells.
The Group Chairman stated that the company has a defined improvement roadmap with a target to increase the HJT module efficiency to 26% by 2026 from the current 23%, and further improve it to 28% through innovations like perovskite-tandem cell technology. They also aim to extend the life of PV modules from 25 to 50 years. The Chairman noted that the 10 GW solar PV cell and module facility at Jamnagar, based on REC technology, will commence production by 2024 and scale up to 20 GW annual capacity in a phased manner by 2026.
The company will also invest in glass and PolyOlefin Encapsulant (POE) film manufacturing to provide security of supplies for their module manufacturing facilities.
Ambani stated that the company was advancing its operations to commence the transition from Grey Hydrogen to Green Hydrogen by 2025 after evaluating Reliance’s cost and performance targets in this area of clean energy.
Reliance has signed a cooperation agreement with Stiesdal to develop and manufacture Steisdal’s Pressurised Alkaline Electrolyzers in India. Ambani noted that Reliance is in advanced discussions to partner with other leading electrolyzer technology providers globally to set up a giga-scale electrolyzer manufacturing facility at Jamnagar.
Reliance signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat government earlier this year to invest ₹5.955 trillion (~$80.61 billion) in renewable energy projects. It proposed encouraging small and medium enterprises to opt for new technologies and facilitating the adoption of captive use of green hydrogen and clean energy.
The Chairman said Reliance would set up four gigafactories to produce energy storage systems (ESS), solar photovoltaic panels, green hydrogen, and fuel cell systems. The group aims to develop a fully integrated ‘New Energy Manufacturing Ecosystem’ in Jamnagar, for which the company has committed an investment of ₹750 billion (~$9.3 billion).
The company plans to start production of battery packs by 2023 and scale up to a fully integrated 5 GWh annual cell-to-pack manufacturing facility by 2024, and further scale up to 50 GWh annual capacity by 2027.
To strengthen its supply chain for large-scale manufacturing and growing ESS and electric vehicle markets, Reliance strategically acquired 100% assets of Lithium Werks, a cobalt-free lithium-ion phosphate batteries provider, for $61 million, in March. It also acquired sodium-ion battery technology provider Faradion for £100 million (~$110.65 million) and has invested $50 million in Ambri, a company providing long-duration energy storage solutions based on Liquid Metal technology.
Ambani said India had the potential to become a credible renewable energy alternative to China and said that the country’s and world’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables would pave the way for Reliance’s hyper-growth.