“The future belongs to renewable energy,” is a big thing for Big Oil’s fourth biggest player, and Asia’s richest energy baron to say, but Mukesh Ambani is letting his money do the talking—all $10.1 billion of it.
In late June the Chairman of Reliance Industries, one of the largest oil companies on the planet, announced a 750 billion rupee investment in a brand new renewable energy supply chain.
While oil majors like Reliance, Shell, or ExxonMobil are often the chief targets of climate activists’ attentions, the resources these energy giants can bring towards stimulating renewable investment and production are sometimes greater even than national governments. Furthermore, their decades of experience in the energy industry lends them certain insights into energy supply and demand trends that few others possess.
“The age of fossil fuels, which powered economic growth globally for nearly three centuries, cannot continue much longer,” Ambani stated. “The huge quantities of carbon it has emitted into the environment have endangered life on Earth.”
600 billion of the rupees will produce four “gigafactories” where solar arrays, hydrogen fuel cells, and battery grids will be produced, and another 150 billion will help reinforce the value chain through strategic partnerships.
When large firms like Reliance get involved, especially in production, manufacturing costs for renewable energy as a whole go down, not only because of investments in research and development, but also through market competition, as providers undercut each other’s prices to offer the best deal for consumers or government energy agencies.
The forecast for a renewable future is one shared by Greenland, which has announced that all future oil and mineral exploration will cease, citing climate concerns and desires to invest in green energy.
Tens of billions of barrels of oil and hundreds of trillions square-feet of natural gas are predicted to lie under receding ice sheets, but keeping them in the ground is the new edict from the recently elected Inuit government of the Ataqatigiit.
“The future does not lie in oil. The future belongs to renewable energy, and in that respect we have much more to gain,” the Greenland government said in a statement, before adding it “wants to take co-responsibility for combating the global climate crisis.”
Inhabited by 57,000 people, AP’s sense is that the country is dreaming of independence, as it receives two-thirds of its national wealth from Denmark as charity.
In a sign of maturity from the fledgling state, Greenland has decided that a near-future of possible independence is not worth a long-term future of worsening climate change.