Aiman Suhailah Saifuddin
The energy transition has become a hot topic, as demonstrated at the recent Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2021, organized by the Singapore Energy Market Authority (EMA), where the focus was on energy transition solutions. Energy experts and business leaders gathered to discuss and share their plans to achieve net-zero emissions and initiatives for new energy solutions.
The Singapore government has been pursuing renewable energy developments by creating solar deployment opportunities and announcing collaborations between nations for energy importation, which has become a business opportunity. Of course, there will be challenges along the way. However, the government believes that the energy transition can be achieved with support from public and private sectors, the community, international cooperation between countries, and the technological innovations being developed in the renewable energy industry.
During his speech at SIEW, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Gan Kim Yong, highlighted the initiatives the government is offering to support new energy solutions, including increased grants and investment in solar and hydrogen deployment, to shift away from the present 95% of electricity generation being supplied by natural gas. More recently, we saw the launch of Tengeh Reservoir Floating Solar PV, which was supported by PSC Consulting, that offers 60 Megawatt-peak (MWp) and will be connected to the national electricity grid. The total capacity of the solar farm will provide enough power for about 16,000 four-room Housing Board flats for a year. The floating solar plant will contribute to the country’s plan to deploy 2 Gigawatt-peak (GWp) of solar plants by 2030. Additionally, the Singapore government has announced two pilot projects for energy import:
- 100MW Energy Import from Pulau Bulan, Indonesia
- 100MW Energy Import from Peninsular Malaysia
The target for import is to reach 4GW of energy supply, being 30% of the total supply in the country, safely and reliably by 2035. These initiatives will benefit the public and private sectors and increase job opportunities and attract investors to low carbon projects.
Asian countries also face challenges in achieving the energy transition. There are about 1.5 billion Asians living in the tropics where climate change is having a major impact on lives, as the growing demand for energy requires greater electricity supply. Since natural gas and fossil fuels are currently the main source of supply, Asian countries will need to bear the mounting costs of adapting and living with climate change impacts (i.e. floods, storms, etc), or find innovative ways to transition away from these sources to cleaner, greener supply.
International cooperation between countries will be an important factor in achieving the goals for the Asian bloc. An example cited during the SIEW event was from Indonesia, where they are progressing towards the zero net emission target and have projects amounting to 500-600GW of solar, hydro, and geothermal deployment. They are looking at long-term energy security, intending to reach a 35% share of Asia’s renewable capacity. Energy imports between Kalimantan, Indonesia and Malaysia have been established to further partner across the region. This plan offers opportunities to electricity companies to build both business pipelines and infrastructure for the community. Collaboration between countries is crucial in this matter, where governments and industry must work together to improve the environments for countries facing climate change.
Overall, SIEW 2021 highlighted many opportunities for the electricity market and the energy market players to collaborate in providing better infrastructure for the country. The ideas and knowledge that were shared throughout the conference were insightful, and it has improved the view towards the energy transition initiative by the government. The energy transition will be beneficial not only for affecting climate change but also for the economic development and growth of the community.