EMA seeks information to explore geothermal energy potential across Singapore

Two known areas with geothermal potential are the Sembawang Hot Spring Park (pictured) and Pulau Tekong. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The Energy Market Authority (EMA) is requesting information to explore the potential of harnessing geothermal energy across Singapore.

This exercise will help the EMA prepare for an eventual proposal call for a geophysical investigation project, and the project will assess the viability and scalability of deploying geothermal systems in Singapore.

Interested parties looking to participate in the exercise have to outline the possible approaches, methods and execution details in carrying out the project, said the statutory board in a statement on Wednesday (April 20).

Singapore is located within a region of high heat flow underground, with a possibility of having quality geothermal resources at greater depths.

Advances in technology, such as advanced geothermal systems, have enabled the extraction of heat from hot dry rock, deep underground.

Advanced geothermal systems are "closed-loop" systems where pipes constructed underground carry fluid - which picks up heat through conduction - to the surface. The heat from the fluid can then be tapped to generate electricity.

If the Republic is found to have substantial geothermal resource potential, it could consider the technology options available to deploy geothermal energy locally, added the EMA.

Geothermal energy was identified as one renewable energy source that could help to bring down the country's emissions to net zero by or around 2050, said the EMA's Energy 2050 Committee Report released last month.

The upcoming project will complement ongoing exploratory studies in the northern and eastern parts of Singapore, by providing a more comprehensive assessment of the geothermal potential across the whole of Singapore, and identifying suitable deployment locations.

The northern and eastern regions have been identified to hold geothermal potential based on their higher surface temperature measurements. Two known areas with geothermal potential are the Sembawang Hot Spring Park and Pulau Tekong, which is gazetted for military use.

If there is potential to harness geothermal energy in Singapore, this will add to the nation's greener energy mix. The country has been deploying solar energy - currently the most viable renewable energy option here - and is developing regional power grids to import low-carbon electricity.

Singapore is aiming to import around 30 per cent of its electricity needs from low-carbon sources by 2035.

Parties interested to participate in the request-for-information need to send in their submissions to the EMA by May 20.

More details on the request are available online.

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