Agility key in dynamic energy market: Iswaran

SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: "Our objective is and always remains securing competitively priced energy which is secure and sustainable. We need to be clear on policy flexibility and innovation to undergird those considerations on energy reliability
SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: "Our objective is and always remains securing competitively priced energy which is secure and sustainable. We need to be clear on policy flexibility and innovation to undergird those considerations on energy reliability, security, competitiveness and sustainability." - MR S. ISWARAN, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry).

He stresses need for S'pore to keep policies flexible to support innovation, investment

Singapore needs to be "agile and nimble" in how it responds to the dynamic energy market, keeping its policies flexible so that they support innovation and investment.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr S. Iswaran, made this point yesterday as he noted that Singapore is a price taker in the energy market given its small economy.

"Our objective is and always remains securing competitively priced energy which is secure and sustainable," he said.

"We need to be clear on policy flexibility and innovation to undergird those considerations on energy reliability, security, competitiveness and sustainability."

Mr Iswaran was speaking to reporters after a closed-door session at the InterContinental Singapore with the International Advisory Panel on Energy. This is made up of 15 energy executives, thought leaders and academics, and 11 of them met here yesterday.

The panel was set up by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to provide perspectives on emerging trends in energy, and to advise on strategic directions for the energy sector here.

The panel noted that there are many opportunities in the clean energy sector as countries move to reduce their carbon footprint to combat climate change. This is despite challenges posed by volatile energy markets.

Members encouraged Singapore to continue its efforts to increase the deployment of renewables, in particular, solar photovoltaics, which have had significant uptake here in recent years, they noted.

Singapore's goal is to produce 350 megawatt peak of solar energy by 2020 to meet 5 per cent of its electricity needs. Solar energy experts have said the country is well on track to achieving this target.

The panel said Singapore is well placed to develop clean energy solutions for the region, adding that it should work with Asean and Asian partners to test such solutions for wider deployment to meet the needs of the region.

Dr Daniel Yergin, vice-chairman of global financial information and services company IHS Markit, also noted that the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market will remain oversupplied until 2021 or 2022, which gives Singapore an opportunity to bolster its position as a trading point for natural gas.

He said Singapore could explore opportunities to improve liquidity in LNG trading through initiatives such as LNG bunkering - the practice of providing LNG fuel to a ship for its own use.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2016, with the headline 'Agility key in dynamic energy market: Iswaran'. Print Edition | Subscribe