Green energy on the rise as Reliance joins the bandwagon – The New Indian Express

Slowly but surely, green energy is becoming part of our lives. In this writer’s housing complex in Mumbai, a Tata Power supplier had some years ago mounted solar panels on the roofs of multi-storey buildings, and the electricity generated was fed into the grid of the electricity supply company.

Each of the 5 buildings generates around Rs 30,000 of solar power per month, and within 4 years, the buildings have recouped their initial investment of Rs 15 lakh each. Now, solar energy subsidizes residents’ electricity bills.

So when Reliance Industries announced a few days ago that it had signed with the Gujarat government to invest Rs 5.95 lakh crore in the state to set up 100 gigawatts (GW) of power plants renewable and other green energy initiatives, one realizes just how mainstream green energy has become. Mukesh Ambani’s renewable energy exit is not breaking news.

RIL has repeatedly confirmed its commitment to investing in renewable energy projects since June last year. More recently, the company announced a series of partnerships and acquisitions worth over Rs 12,000 crore with international renewable majors like REC, NexWafe, Sterling & Wilson and Ambri.

Brokerage Bernstein expects the company to generate up to 10% of the company’s pre-tax profits by FY26. As the world slowly moves away from fossil fuels, Mukesh Ambani told an economic meeting in Qatar last June that the company, which depends for 60% of its turnover on hydrocarbon extraction, would revamp its business and be zero carbon by 2035. a lingering mystery is: why is the whole renewable energy plan centered on Gujarat?

The big league
Beyond Reliance Green Energy, and RIL is a latecomer, there are a slew of renewable energy companies making their mark. The sector has moved beyond subsidies and government programs as private players realize that this is the disruptive sector to be in. Among the companies destined for runaway growth is Tata Power. Traditionally in coal-fired power, Tata Power is leapfrogging into renewables with 2.6GW capacity in 11 states, with a renewable generation target of 15GW by 2025.

No wonder the stock has risen 210% in the past year. Websol Energy Systems and Borosil Renewables are two other upstream renewable energy companies closely watched by stock market investors. Websol is one of the leading manufacturers of photovoltaic monocrystalline solar cells and exports its products to Europe, while Borosil Renewables is the first and only solar glass manufacturer in India. Both have been on a roll, with Websol stock gaining 175% and Borosil up 326% in calendar year 2021.

Last August, Re-New Power became India’s first renewable energy company to list on Nasdaq. But the real model for the future is when traditional companies give up trying to stifle disruptive new competitors and join the race. Like Chrysler, Ford and GM first tried to kill Tesla, before deciding that electric vehicles (EVs) were the future.

India’s largest power producer NTPC, under pressure to green its portfolio and reduce coal usage, launched NTPC-Renewable Energy (NREL) and partnered with IOC for power generation and storage. renewable energy. It also plans to produce green hydrogen on a commercial scale from the upcoming 4,750 MW energy park at the Rann of Kutch.

good progress
At a global level, India has installed clean energy capacity of just over 150 GW, and the target this year is to reach 175 GW. The distribution will be: 100 GW of solar, 60 GW of wind, 10 GW of bio-electricity and 5 GW of small hydraulics. As Covid-hit 2020 grappled with $6.2 billion in new investment in renewable energy projects, Minister of Electricity and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh predicted that 2022 will see the clean energy investments cross $15 billion.

At the global climate meeting – COP21, India had pledged to achieve 40% of its installed electricity capacity from non-fossil energy sources by 2030. Significantly, this target was reached in November 2021 even when green capacity reached 157 GW against a total installed capacity of just over 392 GW, or 40.1%. India is still far from optimal sustainable energy standards, like that of the European Union (EU), which has been using 72% renewable energy for a few years.

Renewable energy has its problems. It is unpredictable and dependent on the elements. The initial investment is also a huge deterrent. However, over time this fades and it has been proven over long gestation periods that solar energy becomes 20-25% cheaper than coal. Looking at a chart, it will be a rapid growth over the next few years and then a plateau for a while. But the goal of sustainable energy is looming on the horizon.

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