SINGAPORE – Green standards will be set for power generation companies by the Energy Market Authority (EMA), as part of the country’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, said the second trade minister and of Industry Tan See Leng in Parliament Tuesday, November 2. .
Under the changes to the Energy Bill (resilience measures and various modifications) on Tuesday 2 November, the EMA will be able to implement policies and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the import, export, production, transport and supply of electricity.
It comes as Singapore still relies heavily on natural gas – a type of fossil fuel – to supply more than 95% of its current demand for electricity.
Natural gas continues to be needed even as Singapore turns to low-carbon energy sources such as solar power and regional power grids, and low-carbon alternatives such as hydrogen to decarbonize the country’s electricity grids.
The latest initiative will also add regulatory weight to existing EMA incentive programs, such as the energy efficiency subsidy, to get power generation companies to improve their energy efficiency and switch to energy efficient modes. cleaner and more efficient electricity generation.
During debate on the bill, MPs asked about the proposed timeline for new standards and policies to be communicated to power generation companies, and updates on Singapore’s long-term plans. to decarbonize its energy sources.
Mr. Louis Ng (Nee Soon GRC) wanted to know the EMA’s timetable to consult with the energy sector and publish new policy standards, as power producers will need time to adjust to the new ones. regulations.
He also asked if the ministry would proactively share with the public the expected impact on emissions of any new power generation project.
In response, Dr Tan reiterated that the EMA is committed to decarbonizing the electricity sector, using a combination of “broad-based regulatory measures and targeted support measures”.
He added that the first iteration of the new greenhouse gas standards will be released for public consultation as early as 2022, and that the EMA will ensure the standards are “reasonable and realistic but also ambitious.”
Companies will have time to make the transition and the public will be able to follow EMA’s progress in decarbonizing the electricity grid through the Grid Emissions Factor report published annually on the EMA website, a said Dr Tan.
Several MPs also highlighted the difficulties in diversifying Singapore’s current dependence on natural gas and asked for updates on how the nation will transition to renewables in the future.
Mr. Gerald Giam (Aljunied GRC) stressed the need to build local capacity to produce clean energy as more countries turn to natural gas as a bridging fuel.
On the solar front, Giam asked whether Singapore is planning a large-scale deployment of solar panels and whether companies are receiving sufficient incentives to boost the adoption of energy storage systems.
He also called on the government to innovate and deliver cleaner energy solutions to diversify Singapore’s energy mix and explore other renewable sources like tidal power, geothermal power and offshore wind farms.
Ms Cheryl Chan (East Coast GRC) noted that while diversification has long been a “cornerstone” of Singapore’s resource policy, be it water or energy, it will be difficult to achieve. switch to alternative supplies from natural gas in the decades to come.
She asked if there are longer-term opportunities to focus on how capacities for carbon capture, storage or use can be shared across borders or developed in places where geological formation underground allows it.
Other MPs also asked when hydrogen is likely to be commercially viable and whether nuclear power will be included in Singapore’s energy mix.
Dr Tan said Singapore will go beyond diversifying the types of energy it uses by also diversifying geographic sources of energy to manage political and security risks.
He added that Singapore is located in a region with abundant renewable energy potential, and all companies willing to collaborate in the development of renewable energy sources can participate in EMA tenders for imports from electricity.
Dr Tan also said that Singapore is investing heavily in research and development to understand the potential of low carbon technologies.
“Our current assessment is that hydrogen will only be commercially viable around 2040. However, many countries are investing heavily in reducing the costs of producing, transporting, storing and using hydrogen,” he said. -he adds.
He said the EMA and the Ministry of Trade and Industry are also studying the energy that can be produced in Singapore, including the use of geothermal energy and accelerating the deployment of solar energy, despite Singapore’s limited potential.
“Regarding nuclear power, although there have been advancements in nuclear reactor technologies, which could have the potential to improve the safety of nuclear production, many of them are still in the process. research and development and have not started their business operations, ”Dr. Tan said.
He added that Singapore will continue to monitor these technologies while enhancing its capacity to understand nuclear science and technology.