Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries has invested euro 25 million in German solar wafer maker NexWafe GmbH to use the firm's technology to set up giga-scale wafer manufacturing facilities in India.
"NexWafe GmbH (NexWafe) today announced the induction of Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (RNESL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (Reliance) as a strategic lead investor in its euro 39 million ($45 million) Series C financing round with an investment of euro 25 million ($29 million) in phase one," the Indian firm said in a late Tuesday evening statement.
The investment by Reliance will accelerate product and technology development for NexWafe, including the completion of the commercial development of NexWafe's solar photovoltaic products on prototype lines in Freiburg.
Reliance and NexWafe have also entered into an India Strategic Partnership Agreement, providing for joint technology development and commercialisation, at scale, of high-efficiency monocrystalline 'green solar wafers'.
"Reliance, through this partnership, will secure access to NexWafe's proprietary technology and plans to build large-scale wafer manufacturing facilities in India, using the NexWafe processes and technology," the statement said.
NexWafe is developing and producing monocrystalline silicon wafers grown directly from inexpensive raw materials, going directly from the gas phase to finished wafers.
This proprietary process obviates the need for costly and energy-intensive intermediate steps, such as polysilicon production and ingot pulling on which traditional wafer manufacturing relies upon.
RNESL also signed a cooperation agreement with Stiesdal A/S for technology development and manufacturing of Denmark-based firm's HydroGen Electrolyzers in India.
Stiesdal is founded by Henrik Stiesdal, a wind power pioneer and leading thought leader in the global renewable industry.
It is engaged in developing and commercialising several technologies to counter the climate crisis.
The new technology for HydroGen Electrolyzers has the potential to deliver significant cost reduction compared to currently available technologies, thereby paving the way for rapid decarbonisation and commercialisation of affordable Green Hydrogen – a key enabler in achieving India's green energy transition.
"Through this agreement, RNESL and Stiesdal will combine their strengths and capabilities and collaborate to further advance the technology development of HydroGen Electrolyzers and scale it up to set up manufacturing facilities," the statement said.
As part of this agreement, RNESL and Stiesdal have also agreed to extend their collaboration to the development and implementation of other path-breaking climate change technologies, which include offshore wind energy, 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.
Photograph: PTI Photo