The recent spike in electricity prices in Singapore is worrying.
Higher energy prices work like an indirect tax on the economy - they lead to higher production costs for businesses and a higher cost of living for households.
About 95 per cent of Singapore's electricity is generated from natural gas. Natural gas has served us well given its stability in both price and supply.
However, the price of natural gas has surged, owing partly to growing demand as countries start to reopen.
Another reason for the spike in electricity prices is that Singapore's piped natural gas supply from Indonesia's gas fields in Natuna has been disrupted since July.
It has been reported that Indonesia has decided to stop exporting natural gas to Singapore in 2023. Instead, the supply will be used for its local consumption.
Singapore has taken steps to safeguard its energy needs through diversifying its gas sources, committing to producing 2 gigawatt-peak of solar energy by 2030, tapping regional power grids and exploring low-carbon alternatives.
Nevertheless, securing a diverse energy supply will take some time.
Energy prices are likely to stay elevated given the supply disruptions.
Unlike many countries, Singapore has no natural resources and has to rely on external sources for its energy needs.
Renewable energy options are also limited.
Singaporeans have to be more creative in optimising our energy consumption.
For the longest time, Singaporeans have taken for granted the relatively cheap prices of both energy and water in Singapore.
It is time for us to wake up to reality and work together as a nation to secure a sustainable path for a better future.
William Tan Chee Tong