Reliance Industries Ltd. Chairman Mukesh Ambani has unveiled the road map for its new energy manufacturing business as the conglomerate aims to turn net carbon zero by 2035.
At the company’s 45th annual general meeting on Monday, the billionaire announced plans for starting production of solar cells, battery packs and green hydrogen from the Dhirubhai Green Energy Giga Complex that is being built in Jamnagar, Gujarat. The complex, spread over 5,000 acres with four giga factories, was announced last year.
Ambani said that RIL will commence manufacturing of solar photovoltaic cells and modules by 2024 with an annual capacity of 10 gigawatt. That will be scaled up to 20 GW in a phased manner by 2026.
This will be done with the help of technology from REC Solar, which RIL has acquired. “This will be first of its kind of quartz-to-module facility globally. It will produce everything from quartz, to metallurgical silicon, to polysilicon, to ingots and wafers, and integrate them with cells and modules,” Ambani told shareholders.
Ambani also announced that RIL aims to start production of battery packs by 2023 onwards. It will be able to scale it up into a full integrated 5 gigawatt-hour per annum cell-to-pack manufacturing facility by 2024. By 2027, RIL aims to increase the annual capacity by ten times to 50 GWh.
Ambani also said that the company aims to progressively transition from grey hydrogen to green hydrogen by 2025, once it has proven cost and performance targets. RIL is already one of the largest producers of grey hydrogen globally. The company is in talks with global electrolyser technology companies to set up a giga factory for in Jamnagar.
Last year, Reliance had announced capex plans worth Rs 75,000 crore to be spent towards its new energy business. Ambani said it plans to accelerate its committed investments as it plans to have 20 gigawatt of solar energy generation by 2025. This will be for its own captive needs of round-the-clock power for plants and intermittent energy required for producing green hydrogen.
If the scalability of these solutions is proven, Ambani said that RIL is prepared to double the investment in its new manufacturing ecosystem. In its annual report, RIL had revealed that it has spent over Rs 5,500 crore for acquisitions and investments to build new energy capacity.
Ambani said that in addition to the four giga factories announced last year, RIL will also set up a new giga factory for power electronics—technology that is used for control and conversion of electric power.
RIL will also invest in glass and photovoltaic encapsulating film manufacturing, which will support its solar capabilities.
Besides solar and hydrogen, RIL is also actively looking for opportunities in bioenergy, offshore wind, geothermal energy and other non-conventional forms of renewable power, Ambani said.