Reliance Industries limited (RIL) is planning to use about 3 gigawatt (GW) of solar energy to generate 400,000 tonnes of hydrogen at its proposed electrolyser gigafactory.
Speaking at the Fourth Assembly of the International Solar Alliance a virtual event held from 18-21 October 2021, Madhukar Garg, President – Refining and Petchem R&D, RIL, said, “We are still looking at the type of electrolyser to be used at the factory in terms of efficiency. The idea is that we should be using about 3-3.5 GW of solar energy to generate hydrogen to be used at our own refinery,” he added.
This is in line with the company’s overall green plans. The electrolyser factory will be one of the four gigafactories announced by RIL’s Chairman Mukesh Ambani earlier this year to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2035. These factories will be set up at a cost of Rs 75,000 crore in the next three to four years.
RIL has already begun work on developing the Rs 60,000-crore Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex on 5,000 acres in Jamnagar, which will include the 4 manufacturing units.
The first will be a solar photovoltaic gigafactory to manufacture and supply solar cells, modules and is expected to have 100 GW capacity by 2030.
The second gigafactory will be a grid battery facility to stabilise the local power grid and ensure uninterrupted power.
And the third will be a fuel-cell facility to accelerate electric mobility, and fourth will be an electrolyser facility for green hydrogen production.
“For the solar PV gigafactory, we plan to manufacture silicon, wafers, cells and modules and to initially focus on Indian supply,” said Garg.
The gigafactory will initially have 20 GW capacity per year, of which one-fourth will be captive and the rest will be exported to the grid. However, Garg said that this can change depending upon the economics.
For the grid battery gigafactory, he said that RIL is exploring various technologies and the focus is on stationary large-flow batteries. The country currently consumes about around 6 million tonnes of hydrogen annually and the government is looking for ways to increase the penetration of domestic green hydrogen in industries that otherwise import natural gas and ammonia to produce hydrogen.