Reliance Industries (RIL) has been aggressively augmenting its renewable energy portfolio. Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has made four strategic deals, including an acquisition, a strategic investment and two partnerships in three days since October 10.
Setting a target
In June, Reliance had announced that it would invest Rs 75,000 crore in a new green energy business over the next three years. At the annual general meeting, Reliance boss Mukesh Ambani announced that the company was developing the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex on a 5,000-acre plot in Jamnagar.
Of the Rs 75,000 crore, RIL will invest over Rs 60,000 crore to build a fully integrated, end-to-end renewables energy ecosystem including the Jamnagar complex, while Rs 15,000 crore will be spent on acquiring value chain, partnerships and future technologies.
Reducing carbon emission
Speaking at the International Climate Summit 2021 last month, Ambani said Reliance aimed to create capacity to generate at least 100 gigawatts of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. He wants to bring down the cost of hydrogen to under $1 per kg in the next 10 years.
India's richest man said Reliance was focussing on bringing down carbon emissions by generating electricity from renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind. When converted into green hydrogen, the same electricity can be used in automobiles in place of petrol and diesel, further reducing carbon emissions.
In August, RNESL announced an investment of $50 million in Ambri, a company that makes long-duration batteries. Through the deal, RIL got access to Ambri’s technology to make batteries that require minimal maintenance and can store electricity up to 10 hours.
In October, RNESL acquired REC Solar Holdings from China National Bluestar (Group) for an enterprise value of $771 million. Headquartered in Norway, REC is present in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia-Pacific. The company specialises in long-life solar cells and panels for clean and affordable solar power.
The same day, RNESL announced the acquisition of 40 percent stake in renewables firm Sterling and Wilson Solar through a combination of primary investments, secondary purchase and open offer. RNESL will pay Rs 1,100 crore to acquire 15.46 percent stake through preferential allotment. It will acquire 9.7 percent stake from promoter Shapoorji Pallonji for Rs 690 crore at Rs 375 apiece. RNESL will then make an open offer to the public for 4.19 crore shares, taking its total stake to 40 percent.
Sterling and Wilson Solar is a global engineering projects and construction player and operation and maintenance service provider in the renewables sector
Apart from the acquisitions, RNESL has announced a partnership with NexWafe GmbH, a German manufacturer of silicon wafers for solar panels. RNESL will initially invest 25 million euros ($29 million) in NexWafe GmbH.
RNESL inked another deal with Denmark-based Stiesdal A/S for technology development and manufacturing of Stiesdal’s hydrogen electrolysers in India.
How will these help
Till now, the passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology has been used to make PV cells in solar modules. REC Solar uses heterojunction technology to make PV cells, which makes the solar modules more efficient, durable and long-lasting.
Ambri’s partnership will help RIL store clean energy, while the partnerships with NexWafe and Stiesdal will help Reliance reduce the cost of solar-energy generation.
Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)