New Green Standards Proposed for Power Gen Companies in Singapore

Highlights :

  • In order to reduce its carbon footprint, Singapore has proposed new green standards for power generation companies operating in the country.
  • Earlier this month, U.N. climate panel said in a landmark report that global warming is dangerously close to spiralling out of control, warning that the world is already certain to face further climate disruptions for decades, if not centuries, to come.

In order to reduce its carbon footprint, Singapore has proposed new green standards for power generation companies operating in the country. The country currently relies on natural gas — a fossil fuel — to fulfil over 95% of its energy needs.  However, in April this year, the island nation achieved its target for the year of 350MW of solar capacity. The installation of rooftop solar PV systems on public housing had become one of the prominent drivers for the growth of solar PV in the country. The next big target is to get to 2 GW by 2030.

The current proposal seeks to amend the Electricity Act, which will enable the Energy Market Authority (EMA) to set greenhouse gas emissions standards or policies that will compel power generation firms to use low-carbon technology, for example, to reduce their emissions. In recent time, the EMA has been attempting to incentivise energy efficiency for power generation companies through its various schemes and grants.

EMA and its parent ministry, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, stated last week that they were seeking public feedback on a set of proposed amendments to three pieces of energy legislation: the Energy Market Authority of Singapore Act, Electricity Act and Gas Act.

The proposed changes are set out under the Energy (Resilience Measures and Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill and will enable EMA to implement Singapore’s energy transition, while ensuring the sustainability, security, and reliability of the power sector, the two agencies added.

The proposed changes will also enable EMA to acquire, build, own and/or operate critical infrastructure, and allow it to raise capital or issue bonds for infrastructure. Additionally, damaging protective infrastructure housing cables or pipelines, like cable tunnels, will now be considered an offence, unlike earlier when penalty could only be imposed upon the destruction of actual cables or pipelines.

Earlier this month, U.N. climate panel said in a landmark report that global warming is dangerously close to spiralling out of control, warning that the world is already certain to face further climate disruptions for decades, if not centuries, to come. Humans are “unequivocally” to blame, said the report, adding that unless immediate, rapid and large-scale action is taken to reduce emissions, the average global temperature is likely to reach or cross the 1.5-degree Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) warming threshold within 20 years. The burning of fossil fuels is the main driver of modern climate change.

The Singapore Government has said that as a land-scarce country, the Republic lacks land for large solar farms. And while sunshine is abundant in the tropics, Singapore lacks access to other forms of renewable energy. It plans to decarbonise its energy sector in four ways: enhancing the efficiency of natural gas plants, boosting solar deployment by putting panels everywhere, including on water bodies, importing low-carbon electricity from the region, and researching into low-carbon solutions such as hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage solutions.

In May this year, Grace Fu, Singapore’s minister for sustainability and the environment, commented on the immediate climate challenges facing the country: “Our twin challenges are coastal floods … (and) extreme rainstorms that could cause more intense inland flooding. So we need a system that can help us manage both.”

Readers might recall the massive Suncable project in Australia, the Australia-ASEAN Power Link (AAPL)that expects to export renewable energy to Singapore, among other places.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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