Wednesday, 4 October 2023

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Singapore’s electricity demand spiked amid heat wave in May

SINGAPORE — Peak electricity demand in Singapore has increased by about 8% from 7.3GW in February to 7.9GW in May this year.

This was said by Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong in response to questions filed by Member of Parliament Dr Lim Wee Kiak on Monday (3 Jul) about the increase in electric consumption who asked whether there has been a significant increase in electricity consumption  due to the onset of record-high temperatures.

According to the minister, it is expected for electricity consumption to be higher during the hotter months of April and May.

The National Environment Agency reported that the warmest temperature this year, a sweltering 37.0°C, was recorded at Ang Mo Kio.

This temperature set a new record for the highest daily maximum in the month of May, surpassing the previous record of 36.7°C observed at Admiralty just the year prior. It also matches the all-time record for the highest daily maximum temperature of 37.0°C, which was last recorded in Tengah on 17 April 1983.

“We have sufficient generation and grid capacity to meet the increased electricity demand arising from high temperatures,” said Mr Gan.

He reiterated that the existing installed capacity of Combined Cycle Gas Turbines used for power generation is 9.4GW, higher than the peak electricity demand experienced.

Ensuring the stability of supply and demand

Dr Lim Wee Kiak has also asked the minister about the measures taken to ensure electricity demand and grid stress monitoring to maintain the stability of supply and demand.

Mr Gan said, “System demand and network conditions are closely monitored in real time, 24/7, by the Energy market Authority (EMA).”

He added that SP Group, also has round-the-clock monitoring of transmission and distribution network

Additionally, during periods of increased demand, EMA can direct generation units such as Open Cycle Gas Turbines to supply additional electricity to meet the system’s needs.

When asked about contingency plans to address potential challenges in meeting the increased electricity demand during the heat wave, the minister stated that the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Economic Development Board (EDB) have introduced Energy efficiency schemes to incentivize households and businesses to adopt energy efficient technologies.

Moreover, he strongly urges the consumers to manage their demand for energy.

“EMA has also introduced the Demand Response and Interruptible Load schemes which reward consumers when the reduce their electricity usage during periods of high overall demand,” said Mr Gan, noting that this will help to mitigate peak demand and improve system reliability.

Tariffs hike increases from July to September

Singapore residents will experience an electricity tariff hike of 12% between July and September 2023, as announced by the Energy Market Authority (EMA), the regulatory body responsible for the energy industry in Singapore.

This is the highest hike since the deregulation of the electricity market in 2001, and will come into effect shortly after the release of the EMAs biannual Retail Electricity Price Report.

The national grid operator, SP Group declared that the increase is due to higher energy cost.

The operator which is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state-owned investment fund Temasek, revealed that the new tariff, taking into account the 8 per cent GST implemented since Jan 1, is expected to have a modest impact on overall household bills.

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