Singapore boosting efforts to develop clean energy

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran yesterday announced new initiatives to develop clean, renewable energy here.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran yesterday announced new initiatives to develop clean, renewable energy here.PHOTO: ASIA CLEAN ENERGY SUMMIT

Five companies have committed to investing a total of $150 million towards the development of clean energy in Singapore.

The money will be spent over the next five years across the fields of solar, fuel cells, smart grids and testing services. It will also create more than 100 jobs here.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran announced these and other developments yesterday at the second Asia Clean Energy Summit held at Marina Bay Sands.

Clean energy is viewed as a key solution to reducing pollution and the impact of climate change. Renewable energy is also becoming more attractive, due to its growing cost competitiveness and contributions to enhancing energy security.

"The haze that has affected several countries in South-east Asia has further reinforced the need for sustainable development and sustainable business practices," said Mr Iswaran.

With demand for energy in Asia expected to more than double by 2035, Singapore can establish itself as a centre for "clean technology".

This may be done through innovation and testing, not just for technology, but also in terms of business models.

The five companies investing here include Singapore-based Graess Energy, which will serve as German solar energy company Grass Group's new headquarters.

Fuel cells specialist Intelligent Energy will open its first supply chain hub outside of its British headquarters, and consulting firm Accenture will expand its smart grid capabilities by strengthening its team of experts here.

Information technology company Omnetric Group plans to open a regional hub for research and development in the first half of 2016, focusing on the development of smart grid systems.

Certification firm DNV GL will open a new test centre here to attract and support companies to develop and test network and digital substation technologies.

The Asia Clean Energy Summit also saw the signing of a partnership between trade promotion agency IE Singapore, the Asian Development Bank and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore.

It sees IE Singapore coming on board to provide assistance for the Sustainable Energy Centre of Excellence, a regional training centre that aims to train policymakers, giving them skills for developing sustainable energy projects. The centre ran its first workshop in July.

Yesterday, utilities company Singapore Power and the Economic Development Board signed a memorandum of understanding with the Singapore base of US conglomerate 3M and Omnetric Group. As part of the Singapore Power Energy Advanced Research and Development programme, it will aim to develop and pilot cutting-edge technologies.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2015, with the headline 'Singapore boosting efforts to develop clean energy'. Print Edition | Subscribe