Singapore, an island nation with a 5.6 million population, is dependent on natural gas for its electricity production. 95% of its energy requirements come from natural gas plants. Up to 2013, it imports liquefied natural gas (LNG) via pipelines from Indonesia and Malaysia. In 2013, an LNG terminal opened, allowing the country to buy gas from Australia and the United States.
Singapore’s unique location makes it an ideal energy and transportation hub. It has allowed for better access to international LNG markets, besides traditional partners, Indonesia and Malaysia.
To meet the country’s Paris Agreement quota, the country has to diversify its energy production capability. As a tropical country, solar energy comes to mind. Recently, the country launched the world’s largest floating solar energy testbed at the Tengeh Reservoir. To better use this technology, it is developing distributed energy grids which will improve access and use of renewable energy sources. It will also keep the working energy grid stable.
Sustainable Energy and Supply
In a recent study by the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), Singapore solar energy may meet around 25% of the country’s energy requirements in 2025. However, to reach that level, today’s 140-megawatt peak (MWp) capacity has to double every two years, to meet 2-gigawatt peak (GWp) by 2025. This may not be possible, considering the size of the country. Since its independence in 1965, Singapore has engaged in land reclamation and that the total land area has increased by 23%.
To solve its energy problems, Singapore is making a bold move via the Smart Nation program. Here, energy companies aim for performance improvement with the use of data analytics, remote sensors, and value-added applications for consumers. This initiative is part of a more extensive program to develop and use new technology and other innovations to meet increasing power needs and sustainable energy development goals. Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan allocated $375 million for research and development efforts in energy concerns, including solar energy, smart grids, battery storage, and green buildings.
Innovations, Pricing, and Pledges
Singapore has a liberalized gas and electricity market segmented via transmission, distribution, generation, and retail. Also, Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) has a pilot project called OptiWatt, allowing users more information about their electricity use and to enable them to use power during off-peak periods. Aligned with this, the independent electricity retailers offer new pricing plans for various customer preferences and needs. The EMA has also announced that by 2018, all electricity users (including households and businesses) can choose flexible and innovative plans from different electricity retailers to suit their needs. To comply with its Paris Agreement pledges, Singapore will include a carbon tax on fossil fuel use starting 2019.
Singapore’s unique location makes it an ideal energy and transportation hub. It has allowed for better access to international LNG markets, besides traditional partners, Indonesia and Malaysia. As tropical countries located near the equator, Singapore solar energy production is twice as efficient as those in temperate countries.
Singapore aims to keep its status as a financial and high-tech center. To do that, it has to keep its power running. It has to be part of global energy discussions and work with companies from everywhere in the world. It joined the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2016. It will also assume the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) energy ministers’ chairmanship in 2018, where it will play a vital role in driving cooperation and capacity build-up for ASEAN power concerns.