India’s richest man invests over $80 billion in green energy

By Michelle Toh, CNN Business

indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani focus on green energy.

His conglomerate, Reliance Industries, announced on Thursday that it would allocate 6 trillion rupees (about $80.6 billion) to renewable energy projects in the Indian state of Gujarat, where it hopes to help create a million new jobs.

Most of that money — about $67.7 billion — will go to a new power plant and a hydrogen system, the stock company said. deposit. Reliance plans to make this massive investment over a 10 to 15 year period and has already begun scouting for land for the 100 gigawatt capacity site.

The company also plans to create a new manufacturing center that will be dedicated to the production of solar panels, fuel cell technology and other renewable energy sources.

Reliance said the new initiatives stem “from the vision” of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The company’s one million job projection includes both direct and indirect new opportunities in Modi’s original state.

Renewable energies are starting to take off in India. Last year, new installations of such projects were should double across the country, compared to those from 2015 to 2020.

The trend is coming at a critical time. Since the end of last year, coal still accounted for almost 70% of the country’s electricity production.

This has recently put the world’s second most populous country in a vulnerable position as it faced risks from a coal crisis last October, with stocks of the commodity at most Indian power stations falling to extremely low levels. low..

Reliance is one of the most valuable and recognizable Indian companies. The central conglomerate – which covers petrochemicals, telecommunications and retail – has long tried to reduce its dependence on oil.

It has also undergone a change in focus recently as Ambani, its president, seeks to transform it into a global technology giant.

In its statement Thursday, Reliance said it would use the remaining funds to invest “in existing projects and new ventures over the next three to five years.”

During this period, the company wants to spend $1 billion on upgrading its mobile network to 5G and spend about $406 million on its retail arm.

— Diksha Madhok contributed to this report.

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