Lim Tean: When does Singapore government want to implement solar energy in “a big way?

Lawyer and politician Lim Tean commented in a Facebook post on Thursday, noting that cost of solar panels has already dropped years ago and questioned when does the Singapore government want to allow Singaporeans to utilise solar energy in “a big way”.

He noted that all sorts of nonsensical reasons are given to justify the price hike in electric tariff, the chief of which is the increase in oil price.

This is in response to an article published by Channel NewsAsia on Thursday (28 June), titled “Oil prices have gone up and it may affect your electricity bill“.

The article preps households and businesses to prepare for yet another quarter of an increase in electricity tariffs – since oil prices, which is tied to gas prices, already started to move up since mid-2017.

It wrote, “If Singapore households anticipate that electricity prices will continue to rise, then they should plan to conserve energy to save on their utility bills in the coming future. But this could be a hassle for some depending on lifestyles and preferences.

Another option is for consumers to switch to an alternative electricity provider once the rest of Singapore opens to retail liberalisation in the second half of 2018.”

The article goes on to state, “However, this will change in the foreseeable future, with manufacturing costs of panels growing cheaper over time.”

Lim rubbished that idea and pointed that world’s solar panel manufacturers have been engaging in cut throat competition in the last decade which have resulted in the closure of many of them, especially American manufacturers who could not compete with cheaper Chinese rivals.

Lim notes that one of his Chinese acquaintances who used to be in the World’s 2nd largest solar panel manufacturer, had also suffered tremendously from the cut throat competition.

This means that prices have already been low for many years and not what the CNA article is inferring to, that the price of solar panels is still high.

Lim also cautions citizen to be wary when the PAP government hands out “ goodies “, as it will take back from them through price hikes and taxes many times what it hands out.

Here is what he wrote in full:

I just read an article in CNA which gives the clearest indication yet Singaporeans will be hit with another electricity price hike starting next quarter.

There never is a price hike this PAP government does not like. All sorts of nonsensical reasons are given to justify the price hike, the chief of which is the increase in oil price. But how many reductions in electricity tariffs were there in the past when the oil price plunged ?

It is also outrageous that solar energy has not been promoted aggressively in the past. The article says that the cost of manufacturing solar panels will decrease in future to make solar energy more viable. I find that to be a ludicrous proposition.

The World’s solar panel manufacturers have been engaging in cut throat competition in the last decade which have resulted in the closure of many of them, especially American manufacturers who could not compete with cheaper Chinese rivals.

One of my Chinese acquaintances used to be the World’s 2nd largest solar panel manufacturer and even his business suffered tremendously from the cut throat competition. So when does our government think that the time will be ripe for Singaporeans to utilise solar energy in a big way ?

Singaporeans should realise by now that when the PAP government hands out “ goodies “, it will take back from Singaporeans in terms of price hikes and taxes many times what it hands out.

There is a proverbial saying in Singapore which all Singaporeans should heed – they will give you a chicken wing but take the whole chicken from you! An equivalent saying is – Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!