Plans to import 30pc of Singapore’s energy from low-carbon sources by 2035, says Energy Market Authority

Low-carbon energy typically refers to energy generated from sources such as wind, solar or hydro power. — TODAY pic
Low-carbon energy typically refers to energy generated from sources such as wind, solar or hydro power. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Oct 25 — Plans are afoot to diversify Singapore’s power supply, as well as lower the nation’s carbon footprint by importing around 30 per cent of its energy from low-carbon sources by 2035.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) announced on Monday (Oct 25) during the Singapore International Energy Week that it will be issuing two requests for proposals for up to 4 gigawatts (GW) of low-carbon electricity imports.

The authority said the first request for proposal will be launched in November this year and it will begin importing up to 1.2 GW of electricity by 2027.

The second request for proposal is expected to be issued in the second quarter of 2022, with the remaining quantities of electricity imports by 2035.

While EMA did not define what low-carbon energy is, this typically refers to energy generated from sources such as wind, solar or hydro power.

The authority said that it recognises that non-renewable sources may be needed as a start to make the imports commercially viable or available as baseload power.

“For example, some thermal generation may be needed to smoothen intermittency from solar generation,” said EMA.

That said, it stressed that proposals for electricity imported from coal-fired generation sources will not be accepted.

Separately, EMA also announced on Monday that it was embarking on a pilot with a consortium led by power generation company PacificLight Power by around 2024 to import 100 megawatts equivalent of non-intermittent electricity from a solar farm in Pulau Bulan, Indonesia.

This electricity will be supplied via a new interconnector that directly connects the solar farm to PacificLight Power’s power station in Singapore.

Ngiam Shih Chun, EMA’s chief executive said these are all efforts to maintain energy reliability and to ensure that “sufficient safeguards are put in place” to mitigate against any prolonged supply disruptions including diversifying the sources of imports. 

At present, natural gas, which EMA describes as the “cleanest-burning fossil fuel”, accounts for 95 per cent of Singapore’s power generation.

Singapore also relies on solar power to contribute to the city’s power grid, though EMA says it will likely constitute only about 3 per cent of the country’s total electricity demand in 2030 due to land-constraints.

Nevertheless, EMA said the nation is on track to achieving its solar energy target of 1.5 gigawatt-peak (GWp) by 2025 and at least 2 GWp by 2030.

A third source of power for Singapore is from the regional power grid, said EMA, as it allows Singapore to access low-carbon energy beyond our shores while supporting regional decarbonisation efforts.

There are also plans to develop other low-carbon alternatives such as hydrogen, and technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage which can reduce carbon emissions from using fossil fuels for power generation. — TODAY

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