To meet the country’s objective of reducing net greenhouse emissions to net zero by the second half of the century, Singapore is looking towards importing solar electricity as a means to diversify its energy supply to achieve the objective.
Singapore’s electricity regulator told Reuters that the country, being one of the sunniest cities globally, has solar energy as the most viable renewable energy alternative while it uses imported natural gas to produce around 95 per cent of its power.
By 2030, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) hopes to meet a solar target of at least 2 GW of peak power, which is an increase from the 260 MW peak in the second quarter of last year. Around 4 per cent of the country’s current total electricity demand could be supplied by the new capacity.
According to an EMA spokesperson: “To achieve this, we will need to maximise the deployment of solar panels onto available surfaces, including rooftops, reservoirs, offshore sea spaces and on vertical surfaces of buildings.”
The spokesperson stated that “Singapore is also exploring how we may tap onto regional power grids as a way to access cleaner energy and to overcome our land constraints”, and that the country needs to balance this with possibly higher energy security risks and higher electricity costs.
The country is also evaluating the possibility of importing solar electricity, the spokesperson remarked. However, no further details were provided.
Tens of millions of dollars have been invested by two Australian billionaires in a project to supply solar power from northern Australia to Singapore through the world’s longest subsea high voltage cable, based on a Reuters report in November last year.
Singapore is also dabbling with other low-carbon alternatives besides solar.
The EMA spokesperson also assured that: “We are studying emerging technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage as they could enable further decarbonisation of our economy, including in the industry and the power sectors, in the longer term.”
In late March, a memorandum of understanding has been inked between five Singapore companies and two Japan companies. The memorandum addresses how to develop ways to use hydrogen as a green energy source.
Singapore’s Pavilion Energy is getting potential suppliers to jointly develop a greenhouse gas reporting methodology regarding emissions from the well to the discharge terminal. The company is one of the two importers approved by the country to import LNG into the local market.