Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Sunday announced the acquisition of REC Solar Holdings from China National Bluestar (Group) Company Limited for an enterprise value of $771 million as it seeks to become net carbon zero by 2035.
The Norwegian solar panel maker’s purchase by the group’s Reliance New Energy Solar Ltd (RNESL) follows a June announcement by RIL – operator of the world’s largest refining complex – that it would invest $10.1 billion in clean energy over three years .
Reliance, owned by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, plans to create at least 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity by 2030, a fifth of India’s target of installing 450 GW by the end of this decade. Is.
The group aims to build four “Giga factories” to produce solar cells and modules, energy storage batteries, fuel cells and green hydrogen.
“Along with our other recent investments, Reliance is now set to set up a globally integrated photovoltaic giga factory and make India a manufacturing hub for the lowest cost and highest efficiency solar panels,” Mr Ambani said in the statement.
RNESL said in August that it would invest $50 million in US energy storage company Ambari Inc as part of a $144 million investment by Reliance Industries along with billionaire Bill Gates, investment management firm Paulson & Co and others.
Globally, oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell plc and BP plc are also aiming to become net zero-carbon firms by 2050 amid pressure from investors and climate activists.
According to data research firm IHS Markit, solar installations around the world are poised for the fastest growth in five years this year.
Mr Ambani said his firm will continue to invest and collaborate with global players to provide reliable and affordable power to customers in India and overseas markets.
Reliance said it will use REC’s technology at its PV panel-making Giga factory, with an initial annual capacity of 4 GW, which will eventually grow to 10 GW.
The acquisition will help Reliance grow in key green energy markets globally, including the United States, Europe, Australia and elsewhere in Asia, supporting REC’s planned expansion in Singapore, France and the United States.
Reliance got the nod when India increases its renewable energy capacity, currently around 100 GW, to meet about two-fifths of its electricity needs by 2030 under the Paris climate agreement.