Solar power, imported cleaner energy among focus of Singapore's low-carbon future: Gan Kim Yong

Singapore's solar energy capacity has grown more than six times over the past five years.
Singapore's solar energy capacity has grown more than six times over the past five years.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The Republic is looking at various strategies to decarbonise its electricity grid, including increasing solar power and importing low carbon energy from the region, Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said.

Mr Gan spoke at the inaugural Singapore Green Plan Conversation organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on Tuesday (Oct 19).

Singapore's solar energy capacity has grown more than six times over the past five years. The aim is to up solar energy deployment here by five times by 2030 to at least a two gigawatt-peak, equivalent to powering around 350,000 households a year.

Mr Gan said that the nation also plans to tap on regional power grids.

"We are embarking on a trial with Malaysia to import up to 100MW of electricity. This trial will allow us to build up our knowledge on larger-scale low-carbon imports from the region," he added.

The Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project has also started, which will include cross-border power trade of up to 100MW between the four countries involved.

Mr Gan said: "Singapore is a small city state - without natural resources, land, nor the climatic conditions for large-scale deployment of renewable energy sources. We therefore take sustainable development very seriously."

He added: "For us, climate change is an existential challenge."

The Singapore Green Plan 2030 was launched earlier this year as a blueprint to help the nation reduce its carbon footprint.

There are five pillars in the plan, namely City in Nature, Sustainable Living, Energy Reset, Green Economy and Resilient Future.

Tuesday's event, which aimed to engage businesses and representatives from trade sectors, was also attended by ministers of state for trade and industry Low Yen Ling and Alvin Tan.

Mr Gan said that the green economy will also present new opportunities for Singapore.

"We see the potential for Singapore to become a carbon services hub. As the world moves to a low-carbon future, companies will require expertise to manage their carbon footprint. We want to partner and support regional stakeholders in meeting their decarbonisation goals," he said.

Companies and workers are also encouraged to build their capabilities and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Earlier this month, Enterprise Singapore launched the Enterprise Sustainability Programme, which supports training workshops and product development projects to support local businesses on sustainability initiatives.

The Energy Market Authority has also been working with the Singapore Institute of Technology to develop Singapore's first dedicated Electrical Power Engineering undergraduate programme to cultivate technical competence, skills and knowledge needed in new energy solutions.

Mr Gan said that the Singapore Green Plan will need effort from all sectors of society to succeed.

"We know that sustainable development will require strong commitment by all stakeholders - businesses, workers, and every one of us. Today's conversation is an important first step to engage with each other and work with one another, as we journey towards a green economy."