Leading renewable energy company ReNew is going to fast transform into decarbonisation solutions specialist within a few years, mainly tapping opportunities in green hydrogen, value-added energy solutions like solar manufacturing, digitalisation, energy storage and carbon markets.
"Opportunities are huge in energy transition phase and that is why we rebranded ourselves from 'ReNew Power' to 'ReNew' with a clear focus on all decarbonisation solutions," Sumant Sinha, chairman and CEO says in an interaction with Fortune India.
Starting off as 'ReNew Power' focussing as pure-play renewable Independent Power Producer (IPP) in 2011 with a wind project in Gujarat, it went on to become one of the largest IPPs in renewable energy and got listed on Nasdaq. The company had recently rebranded itself as 'Renew" with plans of becoming a solution provider addressing climate change. Its revenues were USD 912 million in FY22 and USD 768 million for the nine months of FY23.
"As a renewable energy IPP, we are one of the largest in the world with 8000 megawatt (MW) of commissioned capacity in wind, solar and hydro, 6000 MW under construction to be commissioned in two years and another 3000 MW added in recent bids. That is about 17,000 MW which make us one among the largest globally in producing green power, which can be leveraged in the energy transition phase to green hydrogen," says Sinha. All of ReNew's projects are in India.
ReNew, which entered into a tri-partrite 33% each joint venture last year with Larsen & Toubro and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to tap green hydrogen opportunities in India, is close to getting the joint venture take off. Further, ReNew is looking for partners to tap green hydrogen export opportunities to different parts of the globe. "Green hydrogen as a business opportunity and a next-generation fuel is now in early stages. Those who are preparing to make green hydrogen or other biofuels like methane or ammonia have to find their customers, who are now assessing their benefits or whether they should migrate now or later," says Sinha.
Fast transition can be expected in high carbon-producing sectors like fertilisers, steel, vehicles or shipping. Governments have to think of mandating green hydrogen consumption, like 'Green Hydrogen Obligation', which can boost demand, supplemented with subsidies and other incentives to evolve a viable market. As an IPP, ReNew is now adding more corporate customers and that will be an added advantage for ReNew to enter into the green hydrogen business.
Price of green hydrogen, made with electrolysers, can come down with scale and steep reduction in cost of producing electricity, which now accounts for 60% of green hydrogen production costs. ReNew, which is entering into solar cell and module manufacturing, and also own teams to execute projects, can bring down the cost of electricity production. A solar cell and module manufacturing unit with an annual capacity of 2 gigawatt (GW) will take off this year and another four GW is coming up in Rajasthan, with a total investment of over ₹2,000 crore.
Sinha says digitisation and technology is going to be crucial in energy management going forward and that was the reason ReNew acquired an artificial intelligence and machine learning startup 'Climate Connect' with capabilities in energy management to come up with products and solutions.