Voices of Youth: Solar power is a good source, but people need to use less energy

Last month, Solar for Dover, a student-led team at United World College Dover, completed its eight-year goal of raising funds for more than 2,000 solar panels.

As a leader of the team for the past two years, I had thought I would feel elated at that moment, knowing I had done my bit to tackle the climate crisis.

However, through the process of fund-raising and research, I have learnt that solar cells aren't perfect.

Singapore has committed to boost solar panel installations and produce 2 gigawatt-peak of electricity by 2030.

Even if that is achieved, it would cover only 4 per cent of Singapore's electricity demand - 96 per cent of our energy would still have to come from fossil fuels and other sources.

Singapore's energy consumption has been increasing steadily, and it will be nearly impossible for renewable energy to keep up.

And so, I urge all young people to take action on the little things.

Try turning up the air-conditioner a few degrees. See if you can spend two minutes less in the shower. The small things do add up.

Ultimately, a sustainable Singapore is up to the young - who will grow up to be the leaders of this country, and are perhaps the last generation able to give the planet a fighting chance.

Shyam Bhagat, 17

Grade 12 student