2 December 2023
The National News
The company plans to divest assets to raise capital for new projects, chief executive says
India's ReNew, a
subsidiary of New York-listed ReNew Energy Global, is exploring green hydrogen
projects in markets such as Egypt as part of diversifying its operations
internationally, according to its chief executive.
The company, which has been
funded by investors including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), still plans to develop most of its green hydrogen projects in India, the
world’s fifth-largest economy, Sumant Sinha told The
National on the sidelines of the Cop28 climate summit.
“We also want to do some
project development outside India because it's important for us to have some
diversification because hydrogen is going to be a more globally traded
business, unlike renewable energy,” Mr Sinha said.
“Anybody who's looking around
knows that you have to get into countries where there's good natural resource,
where land is not that expensive, and which are [closer] to markets."
In line with that, the company
is seeking projects in the Middle East, North Africa, India and Australia, the
Hydrogen is expected to become a critical fuel as economies and
industries make the transition to a low-carbon world.
It comes in various forms,
including blue, green and grey. Blue and grey hydrogen are produced from
Green hydrogen production
involves a process in which an electrolyser uses electricity to separate water
molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.
As part of India’s National
Green Hydrogen Mission, the country aims to produce five million tonnes of the
fuel annually by 2030, with the potential to reach 10 million tonnes as export
ReNew, which generates about
1.8 per cent of India's annual electricity production, has a combined capacity
of 13 gigawatts in wind and solar power, including projects in the works.
The development of solar
projects worldwide stalled last year due to supply chain bottlenecks and strict
lockdowns in China, the world’s largest manufacturer of solar components.
ReNew faced shortages of a key raw material
used in solar panels called polysilicon.
“The polysilicon capacity has
been ramped up very substantially and solar module prices have gone down beyond
what we had expected,” Mr Sinha said.
“The issue, however, is not
disruptions. The issue really is [the] concentration of solar supply chains,
and suppose if some event happens, like another global pandemic or a
geopolitical event, then the whole world depends on one country for 90 per cent
of solar modules,” he said.
The company, which is looking
at divesting its assets to raise capital, will continue to tap into debt and
equity markets to finance renewable energy projects and new business areas, Mr
In April, ReNew Energy’s
subsidiary, Diamond II Limited, raised $400 million through the issue of senior
secured green bonds.
“I don't think we'll do any
parent-company-level raising," he said.
India is aiming for 500
gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030 as it seeks to
reduce its dependence on expensive imports of polluting fossil fuels.