Transition towards Cleaner Energy - a Collective Effort

30 Nov 2019

Transition towards cleaner energy - a collective effort

We thank Mr Ong Yao Min for his feedback (Brighter future with higher use of solar power, Nov 26) .

We agree that more can be done, and the public and private sectors must work closely together to scale up solar adoption.

To overcome our land constraints, the government has been aggregating and maximising solar installations on the rooftops of public-sector buildings under the SolarNova programme.

Over the last five years, around 240 MWp of solar panels have been committed under this programme. By next year, one in two HDB rooftops will have solar panels installed.

Going forward, we will be working with industry stakeholders to encourage solar installations on the rooftops of private-sector buildings.

We are also looking at innovative ways to deploy solar installations on spaces such as reservoirs and offshore spaces.

JTC has introduced the SolarLand Programme which implements re-deployable solar panels for ease of deployment to alternative locations in the event that the current plot of land needs to be developed.

The Land Transport Authority has also installed solar panels on newer rail depots such as the Tuas, Gali Batu and Mandai depots.

The government has been streamlining regulatory requirements and supporting Research and Development (R&D) efforts. For example, regulations have been simplified for solar installations and we have engaged in R&D efforts in energy storage and solar forecasting technologies to maximise solar power generation.

In the coming months, we will be engaging industry players, the research community, and the public to seek ideas for a more sustainable future.

We look forward to co-creating Singapore’s Energy Story to overcome our energy challenges. We welcome interested parties to send their suggestions to
Toh Wee Khiang
Director, National Energy Transformation Office
Energy Market Authority

Brighter future with higher use of solar power, 26 Oct (The Straits Times)
Ong Yao Min
It is comforting to know that Singapore has set a target to raise its solar capacity such that enough electrical energy will be generated to power up 350,000 homes by 2030 (Singapore to ramp up use of solar energy for power needs, Oct 30).

That will be about 4 per cent of Singapore's total electricity demand today. It is just over four times of what the current solar energy infrastructure generates. Currently, solar energy contributes less than 1 per cent to Singapore's total energy mix.

A 6.9 million population figure by 2030 has been raised by the authorities for policy-planning purposes. Using this figure, the 4 per cent increase in solar generation of electrical energy would be disproportionate to the approximately 20 per cent population growth.
There will also be further energy demands from growing industries.

With the growing need for energy in the years to come, Singapore can be even more ambitious in its push for solar energy reforms.
But to do this, it is necessary to push out solar panel installation efforts to more areas, including areas not thought of under the SolarNova programme.

For example, we could explore fitting solar panels onto the 200km of covered walkways to capture more light energy. MRT stations could also be considered when rolling out solar panel installations.
Besides just focusing on the production end, we could also supplement our solar energy supply by buying it from other countries.

Strategic partnerships could also be formed with other countries to jointly develop solar farms.

At the end of the day, it is our consumption patterns that will eventually drive the search for renewable sources of energy.

Thus, policies and education will need to go hand in hand in ensuring that people choose solar energy as their only source of electricity. With greater visibility of solar panels, hopefully there will be greater awareness and interest in solar energy.

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