Reliance New Energy: Expanding and diversifying its renewable energy portfolio

Reliance New Energy Limited (RNEL), the clean energy subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), is one of India’s leading conglomerates. The clean energy arm of Reliance has made significant strides in the rene­wable energy sector. The company has been actively expanding its presence in the renewable energy space, demonstrating its strong commitment to clean energy. It has set ambitious targets for the de­velop­ment of a sizeable green energy portfolio. It also aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2035. With an investment of over Rs 750 billion, RNEL is wor­king on creating India’s most comprehensive eco­system for “New Energy and New Mate­rials” for a sustainable future.

The company is actively working on es­tablishing the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex, a vast project sp­an­ning over 5,000 acres in Jamnagar, Gujarat. The complex will be one of the largest such integrated renewable energy manufacturing facilities in the world. It is in proximity to two refineries and a petrochemical facility. The complex will have four gigafactories – an integrated solar PV module factory, an energy storage ba­ttery factory, an electrolyser fa­c­tory for green hydrogen production, and a fuel cell factory for converting hy­dro­gen into motive and stationary power. With an investment of Rs 600 billion, the company is committed to constructing state-of-the-art facilities to manufacture and integrate critical components for its new energy ecosystem.

The complex will carry out manufacturing of basic raw and auxiliary materials al­ong with research and development facilities for its new energy technology ecosystem. In order to foster collaboration and em­power thousands of green mi­cro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the co­mpany’s Renewable En­ergy Project Ma­­na­gement and Construc­tion Division has decided to collaborate with MSMEs to de­liver megawatt-scale solutions in the agricultural, industry, residential and transportation sectors. The company is also actively in­volved in the bioenergy segment and in­augurated Pha­se I of its Bio-Energy Tech­nology Cen­tre in Jamnagar in August 2022.

To keep up with the latest developments and leverage opportunities, the company has established the Reliance New Energy Council (NEC). According to the company, NEC members will help in validating strategies and shaping a roa­dmap to achieve the company’s net zero targets. NEC members provide guidance on technical strategies, identify opportunities and advise the company on partnerships with stakeholders worldwide. These NEC me­m­bers inclu­de global advocates and th­o­ught leaders in the clean energy segment.

Solar power

Solar power is one of the primary focus areas for Reliance in the renewable energy sector. The company aims to become a major player in India’s solar energy ­se­ctor and has launched various projects in this regard. Leveraging its project execution and operational efficiency capabilities, Reliance aims to build large-scale solar power plants around the country. The company plans to establish 20 GW of solar capacity by the end of 2025.

In March 2023, Reliance announced its plans to establish a 10 GW solar energy project in Andhra Pradesh. In the same mo­nth, the government allocated 39,600 MW of domestic solar PV module manufacturing capacity to 11 companies, with a total outlay of Rs 140 billion under the production-linked incentive (PLI) sche­me for high efficiency solar PV modules (Tranche II). Among these companies, Reliance se­cured a manufacturing capa­city of 6,000 MW under PLI (Tranche II). This win will further facilitate the expansion of Relia­n­ce’s solar power portfolio.

In addition, the company has undertaken significant investments and acquisitions in the solar industry. In September 2022, Reliance signed definitive agreements to obtain a significant stake in SenseHawk for a total transaction value of $32 million. Se­nseHawk is a Califor­nia-based early-stage developer of software-based management solutions for the solar energy generation in­dustry. In the same month, RNEL signed definitive agreements to invest in California-based Caelux Corpo­ra­tion. The agreement en­tails collaboration between the two companies on the development of perovskite-based solar technology.

Prior to this, in August 2022, RNEL in­vested $29 million in Germany’s Nex­Wafe and collaborated with it to produce and commercialise high efficiency mo­no­crystalline green solar wafers. Also, Reliance New En­ergy Solar acquired 100 per cent sh­are­holding in the REC Group, a PV module ma­­nufacturer. These collaborations and ac­quisitions undertaken by Reliance will he­lp strengthen its position in the solar po­wer manufacturing and technology space.

Green hydrogen

The company has also started expanding its investments in the green hydrogen segment. It plans to invest Rs 5.95 trillion in Gujarat over the next 10-15 years for green energy and other related initiatives. The funding will help in the creation of a 100 GW renewable energy power plant and a green hydrogen eco­system. Relian­ce is also committed to creating an eco­system for small and medium enterprises, promoting the adoption of new technologies that support the captive use of rene­wable energy and green hydrogen.

In February 2023, Olectra Greentech introduced a hydrogen bus developed in technical collaboration with Reliance to commercialise the carbon-free alternative to traditional public transportation. In the same month, Reliance and Ashok Leyland showcased India’s first heavy duty vehicle driven by a hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2-ICE) at the India Energy Week 2023 in Bengaluru. The heavy duty truck has been tested since August 2022. The Ashok Leyland H2-ICE truck line is powered by hydrogen, yet the overall architecture is comparable to that of a traditional diesel-based combustion engine. The H2-ICE truck has a loading capacity of 19-35 tonnes. It will facilitate the transition to gr­een energy at a lower cost. The company has also signed an agreement with Den­mark-based Stiesdal A/S for the production of Stiesdal hydrogen electrolysers in India. All these initiatives are aimed at increasing the company’s green hydrogen market share in the country.

Battery systems

Reliance is engaged in the development of energy storage systems, which play a crucial role in the integration of renewable energy into the grid. The company aims to leverage advanced battery technology to develop scalable energy storage systems. As per a company notification, Re­lia­nce plans to begin battery pack manufacturing in 2023 and scale up to a fully integrated 5 GWh annual cell-to-pack manufacturing plant by 2024. By 2027, the company plans to increase its annual capacity to 50 GWh. In October 2022, Re­liance signed an MoU with Ambri, a US-based start-up, for the delivery of its liquid-metal battery pilot systems. The MoU aims to enhance the strategic partnership between the two companies, and develop and manufacture Am­bri’s batteries in India.

In March 2022, RNEL signed definitive ag­reements to acquire all the assets of Lithi­um Werks BV for a total transaction value of $61 million, including funding for future growth. Lithium Werks is a pro­­vider of cobalt-free and high performance lithium iron phosphate batteries. In the same mo­nth, the Ministry of Heavy Industries notified that Reli­an­ce New Energy Solar Limi­ted has been allocated a capacity of 5 GWh with a waitlisted capacity of 15 GWh. This win will help expand the company’s battery ma­nufacturing business.


Reliance is a new entrant in India’s re­newable energy business, previously fo­cused on conventional energy. In a short span of time, the company has established its pr­e­sence across diverse segments in the renewables space, ranging from solar po­wer to green hydrogen, energy storage and even biofuels. This diversification, whi­ch is currently at an early stage, will help the company ensure steady growth across multiple segments instead of relying on one segment.

The company is pursuing both organic growth and acquisitions to expand its renewable energy portfolio. Its upcoming large-scale manufacturing facilities will secure its supply chains for the future. Moreover, India’s renewable en­ergy in­­d­ustry, including solar and energy storage, is dependent on im­ports to meet the de­mand for solar cells and batteries. Th­us, the company’s strategic decision to focus on setting up large manufacturing capacities for these components provi­des it with a significant edge over other players in the market. By adding electrolyser and fuel cell manufacturing to its operations, which is expected to witness significant de­mand in the near future, the company is expected to emerge as a major supplier of critical equipment in the clean energy space.

Net, net, despite entering the renewable en­er­gy sector relatively late, Reliance is well positioned to emerge as a prominent market player in the near future.