Argus Media Limited

10/13/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/13/2021 01:33

India's Reliance invests in hydrogen, solar firms

Indian private-sector refiner Reliance Industries (RIL) has partnered Danish company Stiesdal to manufacture hydrogen electrolyzers in India, where electrolyzers are currently imported.

Through the agreement, RIL hopes to offer hydrogen-based energy at less than $1/kg within 10 years, chairman Mukesh Ambani said, in line with the company's previously stated targets.

Electrolyzers are a key, costly component in making green hydrogen for India's green energy transition. The new technology for the electrolyzers could significantly lower costs compared to current technologies, aiding rapid decarbonisation, RIL said.

RIL has also invested $29mn in German NexWafe, a photovoltaic product maker. The investment will enable RIL to use NexWafe's technology in proposed large-scale wafer manufacturing facilities in India.

Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures has also participated in NexWafe's current financing round. NexWafe's technology eliminates intermediate steps such as polysilicon production and ingot pulling, with monocrystalline silicon wafers produced directly from the gas phase.

RIL this week also paid $771mn to buy Norway-based REC Solar from China National Bluestar, whose parent company is Chinese state-controlled ChemChina. REC has two units in Norway making solar-grade polysilicon and a unit in Singapore that produces panels and modules.

RIL will also purchase a 40pc stake in Sterling and Wilson Solar, an Indian engineering, procurement and construction firm that has executed over 11GW gigawatts of solar projects.

RIL is investing around $10bn to build four gigafactories - an integrated solar photovoltaic module factory, energy storage battery plant, electrolyser factory to produce green hydrogen and fuel cell plant - over the next three years to reduce dependence on earnings from oil and expand into clean energy.

By S Dinakar