Singapore's energy policy is premised on the promise that urban societies can be the most energy-and resource-efficient when cities, towns and settlements are well planned, organised and run. Doing so would involve greening the production, consumption and transport processes, with special emphasis placed on how the country produces and stores energy and on its energy mix. Happily, Singapore possesses one of the cleanest ways of producing energy from fossil fuels: 95 per cent of its energy production comes from the burning of natural gas. Natural gas is the cleanest form of fossil fuel, but it is a fossil fuel nonetheless. Since the burning of fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide - the main greenhouse gas driving climate change - natural gas represents a high benchmark but one that can be exceeded so that Singapore can be in the vanguard of nations that have embraced a green future in the making of policies here and now.
Towards that end, a greener energy plan was unveiled at the Singapore International Energy Week conference earlier this week. The plan includes a trial to import electricity from Malaysia, a move which could pave the way for more renewable energy imports from other nations in the region. For a start, the two-year trial with Malaysia will involve about 100MW of electricity imports, with renewable energy sources being the preferred option. Singapore also will ramp up its efforts to install more solar panels here, and invest in research on low-carbon energy solutions. These initiatives reflect a marked degree of urgency, and attendant attention to long-term consistency in energy policy, in Singapore's attempt to decarbonise its energy mix.