At Reliance AGM, It’s GW Scale All The Way, With New Power Electronics Announcement

Highlights :

  • With timelines close enough to touch for some of the biggest initiatives, Reliance is set to have a massive impact on the country’s renewable energy eco-system, particularly solar, by 2024-25.
At Reliance AGM, It’s GW Scale All The Way, With New Power Electronics Announcement

At the Annual General Meeting of Reliance Industries today, Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s plans for Renewable energy, among other things, were eagerly awaited. And he didn’t disappoint, with an update on the announcements made so far, as well as upcoming steps that the Rs 7.9 lakh crore ($105 billion) chemicals to telecom behemoth plans. Green energy has been a recent addition to the portfolio of the group in the past 3 years, and just in the past year, the firm took some big steps, including acquisitions worth almost over Rs 10,000 crores to give shape to its plans.

Ambani highlighted how the firm’s Net carbon zero journey has already started with initiatives on plastics recycling.

Calling the new energy business its newest growth engine for coming decades, he highlighted how decarbonisation will require 5 trillion dollars per year. “We are well on our way to create a manufacturing eco-system with secure and safe supply chains”. This was to be the refrain for every one of his subsequent announcements, as he highlighted key promises as under.

Manufacturing Focus Expanded To Power Electronics Too

With a focus to deliver, modular, at scale and affordable green energy manufacturing business based in India, Jamnagar is set to be the largest such hub in the world in time. The Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Gigaplex with 4 planned giga factories will have an additional giga factory now, in the form of a Power Electronics giga factory. The current factories were planned for PV panels, Energy storage, green hydrogen and (Hydrogen) fuel cells.

The new Power Electronics giga factory will sync with the group’s core strengths in cloud computing, IoT platforms and telecommunications. This will cover smart solar inverters and more, as we understand it.

Besides in addition to solar energy, the group will continue to evaluate and invest in bio energy, offshore wind for an integrated manufacturing eco-system for green energy.

Solar PV plans

For Solar PV manufacturing, where Reliance brought over 100% of REC solar, it is already expanding current capacity in Singapore from 1.2 GW to 1.8 GW . Going forward, it is targeting to increase HJT module efficiency to 26% by 2026 from current 23% levels. Extending the life of PV modules from 25 years to 50 years is also on the agenda.

The planned 10 GW solar pv module and cell factory is expected to start production from 2024. This will be scaled up to 20 GW in a phased manner by 2026. With manufacturing set to cover the whole chain from quartz (polysilicon) to modules. The firm also announced plans to invest in glass and POE film manufacturing to ensure supply security and cost advantages.

Battery Storage 

An end to end battery ecosystem from battery materials to cell manufacturing and packs is on the anvil. It’s strategic partnerships with LithiumWerks, Faradion and Ambri were highlighted to stress the focus on minimal dependence on noble metals to ensure supply security for different types of batteries, be it LFP for mobility through Lithiumwerks, to long duration storage through Ambri.

Production of battery packs is expected to start by 2023. A Fully integrated 5 GWh annual capacity should be up by by 2024, and 50 GWh of annual capacity by 2027.

As one of the largest producers of Grey Hydrogen globally, Reliance has partnered with Stiesdal to commercialise their pressurised alkaline electrolyser technology for Hydrogen production. Besides this, it is also partnering with other electrolyser manufacturers worldwide to ensure leadership in the green hydrogen space. The firm aims to progressively commence transition from grey to green by 2025 after proving its cost and performance targets.

Bio Energy

It is already one of the largest users of agro waste as a fuel. 5% of energy needs at Dahej and Hazira are already meant through biomass. Aims to built on this to use of newer and innovative technologies. Inaugurated Phase 1 of its Bio Energy Technology Centre at Jamnagar on August 15, 2022.

Captive Requirements A Key Strength

Ambani highlghted how the groups internal energy requirements across different businesses provide them with the baseload demand to support giga scale manufacturing and accelerate the promised Rs 75,000 crore investments towards a fully integrated manufacturing ecosystem in Jamnagar. Thus, he expected a 20 GW of solar energy generation capacity by 2025, entirely for the group’s captive needs of RTC power and intermittent energy use for green hydrogen. That should be big news for EPC player Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy, where the group has become the promoter now.

Once proven at scale, he promised to double the investment to scale up the manufacturing ecosystem.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International