If Reliance is serious about renewables, the era of oil is truly ending

India's Reliance Industries is one of the largest conglomerates in the world, and was founded on oil and gas. Dhirubhai ambani, the company's founder, was a teenager who worked at a Yemeni service station. He used his savings to open Reliance Mumbai in 1960s. Jamnagar in Gujarat is the home to Reliances oil refinery, which is the largest in the country, and it is the company's spiritual heart.It feels like a landmark announcement by Mukesh Ambani (the son of Dhirubhais and current chairman of Reliances), for a $10 billion investment in renewable energy.India is an oil-rich countryReliance could not move to renewables if it was only interested in the short-term. The world is still experiencing a prolonged spell of peak oil, an extended period of maximum oil production. This will eventually end. McKinsey predicts peak gas will arrive in 2037. Reliance made a profit last year of $5.7 per barrel of crude oil processed. Analysts expect this margin to rise as oil demand recovers.Reliance is not subject to the same environment, social and government-related (ESG), pressures as oil giants in West. Engine No. 1 is not an activist investor. Engine No. 1 recently appointed three candidates to ExxonMobils board in order to move the company away from fossil fuels. Indian banks are not being urged to reduce funding for oil and gas projects as in Europe or the USA. Reliance is not required to reduce its emissions by courts, like the case of Shell in the Netherlands.India has already set climate-related energy goals to install 450 gigawatts and reduce emissions to 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030. However, the government of India also pointed out that it is unfair to expect developing countries to abandon cheap fossil fuels in as fast a time as developed nations.These cheap fuels include oil and gas. In 2015, Narendra Modi, the prime minister, declared that India would import only 67% of its oil-and gas requirements by 2022. India imported 77.1% oil and gas between January and April this year. The government is encouraging domestic production and India's crude oil consumption is expected to rise to 500 million tonnes by 2040 from 221.5 million tons in 2017.Mukesh Ambani sees the opportunity in renewablesMukesh Ambani, despite all of this, is still keen to invest in renewables. This means that he has seen enough straws related to climate change, finance, and public sentimentto know which direction the wind is blowing. Ambani, like his father, plays long games to ensure Reliance's success in his generation and in the next.He will be able to see that fossil fuels cannot be used sustainably. He will also be able to see that India needs to increase its investment in renewable energy and that pliant governments have the potential to turn this sector into a lucrative business for Reliance. Only a few Indian conglomerates currently have the capital to invest into the infrastructure of renewables. The cost of this infrastructure is dropping all over the globe. Ambani is determined to stake a claim on India's future before other countries can do so.