For $771 Million, Reliance Industries Buys A Norwegian Solar Panel Company

The acquisition of REC Solar Holdings by Reliance Industries Limited for $771 million has been announced.

For $771 Million, Reliance Industries Buys A Norwegian Solar Panel Company
For $771 Million, Reliance Industries Buys A Norwegian Solar Panel Company

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced the acquisition of REC Solar Holdings from China National Bluestar (Group) Company Limited for $771 million on Sunday, as part of its plan to become carbon-neutral by 2035. The purchase of the Norwegian solar panel maker by the conglomerate's Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL) follows RIL's statement in June that it would invest $10.1 billion in renewable energy over the next three years. RIL is the operator of the world's largest refining complex. 

Reliance, which is owned by Mukesh Ambani, Asia's richest man, wants to create a solar capacity of at least 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, accounting for more than a fifth of India's objective of 450 GW by the end of the decade. Solar cells and modules, energy storage batteries, fuel cells, and green hydrogen are among the products that the organisation hopes to make in four "giga factories." 

In a statement, Mr Ambani said, "Together with our other recent investments, Reliance is now ready to set up a global scale integrated Photovoltaic Giga factory and make India a manufacturing hub for lowest cost and highest efficiency solar panels." RNESL announced in August that it would invest $50 million in Ambri Inc, a US energy storage startup, as part of a $144 million investment by Reliance Industries, which also included billionaire Bill Gates, investment firm Paulson & Co, and others. Globally, oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc have also set goals to become net zero-carbon firms by 2050 amid pressure from investors and climate activists.

Solar installations are expected to expand at their quickest rate in five years this year, according to data analytics firm IHS Markit. Mr Ambani stated that his company would continue to invest and partner with global companies in order to supply customers in India and other markets with reliable and inexpensive power. Reliance announced it would utilise REC's technology in its Giga PV Panel facility, which will start with a 4 GW annual capacity and eventually grow to 10 GW.

According to Reliance, the acquisition will help the company expand in important green energy markets throughout the world, including the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia, as well as support REC's planned expansions in Singapore, France, and the United States. 

The green effort by Reliance comes as India increases its renewable energy capacity, which is now at 100 GW, to cover about two-fifths of its electricity needs by 2030 as part of the Paris climate agreement.