Switching things up: How SG is accelerating decarbonisation of power industry

There is already a plan to import 4 GWs of low-carbon electricity by 2035.

Singapore has switched up its efforts to accelerate the decarbonisation of its power sector, unveiling plans to import 4 gigawatts (GW) of electricity from low-carbon sources.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) recently announced that it will issue two Requests for Proposal (RFP) to import low-carbon electricity that will make up around 30% of the country’s electricity supply in 2035.

The first RFP to be launched in November 2021 will pave the way for the import of 1.2 GW of electricity starting 2027.

The remaining 2.8 GW meanwhile will be imported by 2035 through the second RFP which will be issued in the second quarter of next year.

To reduce carbon emissions in Singapore, which the power sector accounts for about 40%, EMA said that it will harness four “Switches” to transform the country's energy supply; these are ​​natural gas, solar, regional power grids, and low-carbon alternatives.

EMA said the four “Switches” will allow the reduction of the power sector’s emissions whilst ensuring that Singapore’s power system “remains secure, reliable, and sustainable.”

Singapore has also partnered with other countries to conduct trials on importing electricity and amongst them were Malaysia (YTL PowerSeraya Pte Ltd), Indonesia (PacificLight Power Pte Ltd.), and Lao PDR through the Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP).

The trials were conducted to “properly assess technical and regulatory frameworks for importing electricity into Singapore,” according to the EMA.

Funds for R&D on low-carbon energy tech

To complement Singapore’s decarbonisation efforts, such as the importation of electricity, the local government also awarded $55m to 12 research, development, and demonstration projects on low-carbon energy technology solutions.

Grants for the selected projects were sourced from the government’s Low-Carbon Energy Research Funding Initiative (LCER FI).

LCER FI is a multi-agency initiative involving the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the Economic Development Board, the EMA, the National Climate Change Secretariat, and the National Research Foundation.

Funded projects under the LCER FI study emerging hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation, and storage solutions that support the decarbonisation of Singapore’s power sector.

The government said it received a total of 50 proposals on its first grant call.

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim, for his part, said it is important for Singapore, an “alternative energy-disadvantaged country,” to invest early in low-carbon energy technologies to be able to meet its emission targets in 2050 and beyond.

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