NEW DELHI - India could become a global green energy superpower with exports of clean energy rising to $500 billion over the next 20 years, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of oil-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries, said on Wednesday.
Indian companies including Reliance have announced plans worth billions of dollars to boost India's renewable energy capacity including building battery storage, fuel cells and producing green hydrogen at less than $1 per kilogram.
"If the last 20 years, we were known for India's emergence as an IT superpower, next 20 years, I believe, along with technology, will mark our emergence as a superpower in energy and life sciences," Ambani, one of Asia's richest men, said at the Asia Economic Dialogue.
India is the world's third largest oil importer and consumer and its power sector is heavily reliant on coal.
Ambani said India should have a strategy to end dependence on fossil fuels in the next two to three decades.
"For the next two to three decades, India's dependence on coal and imported oil will continue. But, we must have a plan to eliminate that in the next two to three decades."
The billionaire said India would have to follow "low-carbon and no-carbon strategies" in the near and medium term.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target to make India a net-zero carbon emitter by 2070. The nation plans to install 450 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy by 2030, from about 105 GW currently, and has recently announced plan to produce 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030.
"We have to make sure (we)... bring cost of green hydrogen at a dollar per kilo and make sure that we transport and disburse it also at less than a dollar per kilo," Ambani said.
"I think we will be able to do all this plus or minus 20%," he said.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Sudarshan Varadhan Editing by Mark Potter)