Singapore to boost regional tie-ups in clean electricity, hydrogen trading

Move will aid transition to renewable energy sources while ensuring energy security

To support its transition to renewable energy sources while ensuring energy security and reliability, Singapore will be strengthening its regional and international collaboration in clean electricity and hydrogen trading.

In addition, a national standard for renewable energy certificates was launched yesterday to support the use of renewable energy both locally and regionally.

The certificates, which serve as proof of electricity generated by renewable sources, can be purchased by companies to offset their carbon emissions if they are unable to invest in their own solar panels or renewable sources.

Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said yesterday at the Asia Clean Energy Summit that these are some of the additional moves that Singapore will be making to meet its growing electricity demand amid a push for clean, renewable resources.

The summit, which is part of the Singapore International Energy Week - a five-day conference on energy issues held in a hybrid format at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands - hosted ministers from Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia who provided insights on their strategies to reach their respective renewable energy goals.

To facilitate regional clean electricity trading, Singapore will be expanding its own network of clean energy trading with its regional partners and, in the process, attract global players to the region.

"This will enable the development of a regional power grid, which can accelerate the growth of cross-border electricity trading," said Dr Tan.

Three electricity import trials with Malaysia, Indonesia and Laos have been announced so far.

These are the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project to import up to 100MW of hydro power from Laos to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia using existing interconnections between next year and 2023; a trial to import 100MW of energy from Malaysia via the existing interconnector; and a pilot project to import solar power from Indonesia.

"The growth of a regional grid presents opportunities across the renewable energy value chain and can leverage our current renewable energy ecosystem," noted Dr Tan.

As Singapore is looking to diversify its fuel mix with greener alternatives, low-carbon hydrogen - a fuel that produces no planet-warming carbon dioxide when burned - is a promising solution.

However, significant improvements are needed in the efficiency and cost of hydrogen technology from production to transport to other downstream applications, said Dr Tan.

To establish global hydrogen supply chains, Singapore is engaging local and international stakeholders to bring down the cost of hydrogen technology and develop global regulatory standards.

Singapore's new standard for renewable energy certificates (RECs) will give them greater credibility and improve accountability, which will help companies and institutions switch more effectively to the use of renewable energy.

These certificates are market-traded instruments which prove that electricity has been generated from renewable sources.

One certificate represents 1MWh of electricity which was generated from a renewable energy source and delivered to the grid.

"While the RECs are not new to Singapore, privately run registries have been operating with their own criteria and procedures for issuing RECs, with varying verification requirements," Dr Tan noted.

The Singapore Standards 673 on the Code of Practice for RECs launched yesterday is a national standard which covers the production, tracking, management and usage of RECs for making renewable energy claims in Singapore, he said.

He added: "We hope that this standardised guideline will not only facilitate a transparent and trustworthy marketplace for RECs in Singapore, but also support the matching of demand for RECs with credible supplies, and facilitate investments in renewable energy across the region."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2021, with the headline 'Singapore to boost regional tie-ups in clean electricity, hydrogen trading'. Subscribe