February 11th, 2013

Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, says he sees ‘fundamental transformation’ in America’s energy future

Mukesh Ambani is India’s wealthiest man and runs a conglomerate with significant energy holdings.  He had not granted a television interview in 10 years prior to speaking recently to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria for this weekend’s ‘FAREED ZAKARIA GPS‘ program.  Zakaria asked Ambani about his outlook on the global economy, specifically the American economy, and his response included a prediction about America’s energy future.  Below, is an excerpt of the interview:

FAREED ZAKARIA, Host ‘FAREED ZAKARIA GPS’: Tell me, you have a vantage point to look at the global economy. You run India’s largest company. Where do you think we are, um, five years after the financial crisis began?

MUKESH AMBANI, CHAIRMAN, RELIANCE INDUSTRIES: Well, I’m more optimistic than most. And, my view is that this year, we will see the beginning of a recovery, particularly in the U.S.

ZAKARIA: And you — and you — you think that that’s because just the inherent strengths of the U.S. economy?

AMBANI: There has been a fundamental transformation in the energy scene in the US. For many decades, we have heard that the U.S. will be independent of foreign imports of energy. Realistically, I can now tell you that it is my judgment that this will happen in the next five or seven years, The U.S. has truly found non-conventional energy in shale oil and gas which is really, really bringing benefit not only to the population in the U.S., but, really, to across the world.

ZAKARIA: You’ve invested in solar? Do you think, in the next 10 or 15 years, the costs will come down dramatically?

AMBANI: Absolutely. I think so. And I think that, ultimately, the way I think about energy is that we will transit from what I call a hydrocarbon present, which is coal, oil and natural gas, over the next many decades, into a fully renewable, sustainable future.  And solar really will be at the heart of it.