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RIL unit partners with Denmark's Stiesdal, towards its '1-1-1' green-hydrogen goal

Stiesdal is a Danish company that has developed an electrolysis technology that is cheaper than others'

October 13, 2021 / 09:06 AM IST

Reliance New Energy Solar (RNESL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), has partnered with Stiesdal A/S to develop and manufacture hydrogen electrolysers. RNESL has been given the licence for this, RIL said in an exchange filing.

Stiesdal is an Odense-headquartered Danish company that develops and commercialises technologies on climate-change mitigation. Its technology for HydroGen Electrolysers can reduce the cost of production of the electrolysers and thus bring down the price of green hydrogen.   

This will help RIL meet its ambitious goal of 1-1-1 for green-hydrogen production, shared by its chairman Mukesh Ambani at the International Climate Summit held this September--of making one kilo of green hydrogen available for $1 inside of one decade. The global goal is largely towards $2 for one kilo by 2030.   

RNESL and Stiesdal have also agreed to collaborate in development and implementation of other climate-change technologies such as offshore wind energy installations, next-generation fuel cells for conversion of hydrogen to electricity for mobile and static electricity-generation, long-duration energy storage and production of carbon-negative fuels.

Speaking after signing the agreement, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani said: “It is an important step towards fulfilling our commitment to accelerate India’s transition to green energy benefitting from our vast solar energy sources and scaling up innovative and leading technologies to meet this objective."

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Henrik Stiesdal, CEO of Stiesdal A/S, said, “We are excited to enter into this agreement with Reliance New Energy Solar Limited, the New Energy platform of India’s largest industrial company... For us, there could be no greater impact than seeing our technology scaled up for use in the world’s largest democracy."

Stiesdal has four subsidiaries, each focussing on separate renewable-energy production methods. Stiesdal Offshore Technologies has developed an offshore, floating, wind-turbine module called Tetra; Stiesdal Storage Technologies has developed an energy-storage solution called GridScale, which stores electricity in the form of heat in crushed stone and which promises longer storage time than lithium-ion batteries; Stiesdal Fuel Technologies has developed the SkyClean tech that can produce CO2-negative fuel for aircraft; and Stiesdal PIX Technologies has developed HydroGen, an electrolysis system that can convert water into hydrogen cheaper than other available electrolysis systems. 

RIL's new direction

RIL is in the process of transforming their energy and materials businesses. At the company’s annual general meeting in June, the conglomerate’s chairman and managing director (CMD) Mukesh Ambani had outlined their plan for their new energy business--first through hyper-integration, of scientific knowledge and technological innovation; second by building a business model that catches the upward curve in demand for clean energy and downward curve in cost of production; and third by working on improving efficiency of assets and operations.

The conglomerate is investing Rs 75,000 crore (Rs $10 billion) over the next three years in renewable energy, including the setting up of gigafactories in a 5,000-acre, integrated complex called Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex in Jamnagar, Gujarat. The complex is expected to have an integrated solar photovoltaic module factory for the production of solar energy, an advanced energy storage battery factory for the storage of intermittent energy, an electrolyser factory to produce green hydrogen and a fuel-cell factory to convert hydrogen into motive and stationery power. It will also house infrastructure to manufacture ancillary material and equipment for the gigafactories. 

Over the last few days, RIL has been making acquisitions and forming partnerships in line with its new vision.

On October 12, RNESL announced that it will invest 25 million euros ($29 million) in NexWafe GmbH, as the strategic lead investor for the German company's 39 million euros Series C financing round. NexWafe has a proprietary technology that can drastically reduce the cost of producing photovoltaic (PV) cells; a company statement says that the technology can make “solar photovoltaics the lowest-cost form of renewable energy available”. 

On October 10, RNESL announced its acquisition of Norway-headquartered REC Solar Holdings AS (REC Group). The acquisition is key to RIL's new-energy vision to become a global-scale photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing player, with access to heterojunction technology (HJT) that enhances the performance of solar plants.

That apart, in another deal, RNESL on October 10 said it will acquire 40 percent of Sterling and Wilson Solar Ltd (SWSL), a leading EPC solutions provider for solar projects. 

The RNESL-Stiesdal pact was announced three days after Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, on her official visit to India, met PM Modi for a bilateral summit. The agreements inked by the two sides included a 'Green Strategic Partnership'.

On Tuesday, the stock of Reliance Industries (RIL) ended 0.66 percent higher at Rs 2,668.55 on the BSE.

Disclaimer: MoneyControl is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.
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