India’s richest man invests more than $80 billion in green energy

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Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani is betting big on green energy.

Its conglomerate, Reliance Industries, announced last Thursday that it would allocate a whopping 6 trillion rupees (approximately $80.6 billion) to renewable energy projects in India’s western state of Gujarat, where it hopes to help generate a million new jobs.

Most of that money — about $67.7 billion — will go toward a new power plant and hydrogen system, the company said in a stock exchange statement.

Reliance plans to make the massive investment over a period of 10 to 15 years and has already started looking for land for the site with a capacity of 100 gigawatts.

The company also plans to create a new manufacturing center that will be dedicated to the production of solar panels, fuel cell technology and other renewable energy sources.

Reliance said the new initiatives stem “from the vision” of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The company’s projection of 1 million jobs includes new direct and indirect opportunities in Modi’s home state.

Renewable energy is starting to take off in India. Last year, new facilities for these projects were projected to double across the country compared to 2015 to 2020.

The trend comes at a critical time. At the end of last year, coal still accounted for nearly 70% of the country’s electricity generation.

That has put the world’s second most populous country in a vulnerable spot recently as it faced risks from a coal crisis last October, with stockpiles of the commodity at most Indian mills falling to critically low levels.

Reliance is one of India’s most valuable and recognized companies. The power conglomerate – which encompasses petrochemicals, telecommunications and retail – has long been trying to reduce its dependence on oil.

It’s also been undergoing a shift in focus recently as Ambani seeks to turn it into a global tech giant.

In its statement on Thursday, Reliance said it would use the remaining funds to invest “in existing projects and new ventures over the next three to five years.”

During that time, the company wants to direct $1 billion to upgrade its mobile network to 5G and spend about $406 million on its retail arm.

This content was originally created in English.

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Reference: CNN Brasil

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