It is my privilege to deliver the inaugural address at the International Climate Summit - 2021 before this august audience. I am delighted to see that this conference is bringing together leading policymakers, industrialists, investors, and scientists to discuss climate change and clean energy.
This Summit is taking place against the backdrop of a historic announcement by our beloved Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji on August 15.
In his address to the nation on the 75th Independence Day, he launched the Green Hydrogen Mission for India.
The fact that he chose “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” to make this announcement has sent a powerful message to both Indians and the rest of the world.
In my view, the message is two-fold: One, India is determined to achieve Azadi from dependence on fossil energy and become Atma-nirbhar in New and Renewal Energy. Two, India will make its fullest contribution to the global effort for achieving the goals and targets of Climate Action.
Climate Change is undoubtedly the most daunting challenge facing human civilization today. The world is witnessing with alarming frequency the disastrous effects of global warming. Glaciers are retreating. The mean sea level is rising. Extreme and unpredictable weather changes are becoming regular. Ecological damage is becoming stark. Indeed, Climate Change, if uncontrolled, can threaten the very existence of life on our planet. Therefore, it is not enough to make our economies carbon neutral.
The world needs to achieve absolute reductions in emissions as soon as possible. We have only one option: rapid transition to a new era of green, clean and renewable energy. Because Climate Change is a global problem, the clean energy transition calls for the widest possible global cooperation in technology development, investments and fair market access.
While this clean energy transition is a global imperative, it is important for India for another reason. Most of our present energy demand is met by imported fossil fuels costing us 160 billion USD every year. Although India’s per capita energy consumption and emissions are less than half the global average, we are the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. India’s energy needs will increase exponentially as our economic growth accelerates to fulfill the aspirations of 1.38 billion people.
How do we increase our energy production while drastically reducing our carbon emission content? Both India and the world are thus facing an unprecedented challenge. However, every challenge in human history has come with an opportunity to move to the next level of progress.
I am convinced that Climate Change is an opportunity for human civilization to renew itself in the 21st century… An opportunity to create a healthier, happier, more secure, and more resilient future for the human race… A future in which there will be greater harmony between Man and Mother Nature.
This opportunity for civilizational renewal will be realized by New and Renewable Energy. If Old Energy created the problem of Climate Change, New Energy will provide a reliable solution to Climate Mitigation. As a matter of fact, a New GREEN REVOLUTION has already begun in India.
The Old Green Revolution made India self-reliant in food production. The New Green Revolution will help make India self-sufficient in energy production. It is a matter of great pride for all of us that India has now achieved a major milestone of 100 gigawatts installed renewable energy. India is today among the top three most attractive destinations for Renewable Energy. The target of 175 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by December 2022 is now well within sight. The entire world will applaud India’s singular achievement under the leadership of our Honourable Prime Minister.
I take this opportunity to share with you my perspectives on how India can become a global leader in Green Energy Revolution in the years to come. The Indian subcontinent is truly blessed by Soorya Deva, Vayu Deva, and other gods with abundant renewable energy resources.
Taking advantage of over 300 sunny days in a year, India can easily generate over 1,000 GW of solar energy on just 0.5% of our land.
Solar is perfectly suited to decentralized energy production, which in turn can promote decentralized socio-economic development.
By investing in smart, two-way grids, micro-grids, efficient storage solutions and smart meters, we can enable individuals, communities and neighborhoods to become both consumers and producers of energy. These installations can be located close to demand. They have low maintenance requirements. Importantly, they have a little environmental impact and entail zero human displacement problems. The rapid fall in the cost of production has made solar energy highly competitive, attracting large-scale investments.
This shall play a key role in ensuring similar growth trends in “Green Hydrogen” – the future replacement of fossil fuels. Green Hydrogen is zero-carbon energy. It is the best and cleanest source of energy, which can play a fundamental role in the world’s decarbonization plans. Green hydrogen is key to our evergreen, sustainable, and prosperous future of everyone on the planet
Hydrogen has a high gravimetric energy density and can be reconverted into electricity and heat with zero emissions. Although the costs of hydrogen from electrolysis today are high, they are expected to fall significantly in the coming years. New technologies are emerging for hydrogen storage and transportation, which will dramatically reduce the cost of distribution. Furthermore, the Government of India is planning to create an enabling Green Hydrogen eco-system in the country. Because of all these developments, Green Hydrogen will surely attract significant investments.
Reliance Industries is fully committed to realizing the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister to fuel India’s Green Economy using clean energy. Last year I had announced our ambitious commitment to make Reliance a net carbon zero company by 2035. This year, I presented our strategy and roadmap for the New Energy Business, which will be the next big Value Creation Engine for Reliance and India. We have started developing the Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex over 5,000 acres in Jamnagar.
It will be amongst the largest integrated renewable energy manufacturing facilities in the world. This complex will have four Giga Factories, which cover the entire spectrum of renewable energy. The first will be an integrated solar photovoltaic module factory. The second will be an advanced energy storage battery factory. The third will be an electrolyzer factory for the production of Green Hydrogen. The fourth will be a fuel cell factory for converting hydrogen into motive and stationary power. Over the next three years, we will invest 75,000 crore rupees in these initiatives.
Reliance will thus create and offer a fully integrated, end-to-end renewables energy ecosystem to India and Indians.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji has set the goal to reach 450GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Out of this, Reliance will establish and enable at least 100GW of solar energy by 2030. This will create a pan-India network of kilowatt and megawatt-scale solar energy producers who can produce Green Hydrogen for local consumption. This will bring enormous benefits and prosperity to rural India.
Efforts are on globally to make Green Hydrogen the most affordable fuel option by bringing down its cost to initially under USD 2 per kg. Let me assure you all that Reliance will aggressively pursue this target and achieve it well before the turn of this decade. And India has always set and achieved even more audacious goals. Am sure that India can set an even more aggressive target of achieving under USD 1 per kg within a decade.
This will make India the first country globally to achieve $1 per 1 kilogram in 1 decade – the 1-1-1 target for Green Hydrogen. India has achieved several goals that seemed impossible over the years. I am sure this 1-1-1 target for Green Hydrogen will also be achieved by our talented young entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators.
Speaking about Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, You are the architect of a New India. Your vision of New India is propelled by New and Renewable Energy.
It will create millions of new and high-value green jobs for our youth. It will give a big boost to green enterprises in India, who can proudly proclaim: “Made in India, by India, for India and for the world!”. It will transform India from a large Importer of Fossil Energy to a large Exporter of Clean Energy solutions. It will also bridge the green energy divide in India and globally.
I am certain that, under your dynamic leadership, India will present to the world a template of a Green Economy Movement, which will truly be a People’s Movement. On behalf of all my colleagues in the Indian industry, on behalf of Reliance, and on my own behalf, I pledge full support and commitment to your vision and mission.