Opening Remarks by Ngiam Shih Chun, Chief Executive, Energy Market Authority, SIEW 2020 GLobal Launch Webinar

04 May 2020

1.   A very good afternoon to all of you. Welcome to the Global Launch of the 13th Singapore International Energy Week, or SIEW. Through your strong support over the years, SIEW has become a premier platform for the discussion of energy issues that impact Asia and the world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our SIEW followers, partners, sponsors and community for joining us today for this inaugural webinar.

Impact of COVID-19

2.   Since we last met at SIEW in October, the global energy landscape has transformed drastically. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented challenges for the energy industry, especially in the oil sector. According to the International Energy Agency or IEA, transport accounts for around 60% of global oil demand. With many people worldwide in lockdown, oil demand has plummeted. Less than two weeks ago, WTI crude prices fell to a historic low of negative US$40 per barrel. In the near term, the energy sector will continue to face enormous challenges given the uncertain outlook in manufacturing, commerce and tourism.

3.   In Southeast Asia, oil is the largest component in the region’s energy mix. Therefore, any major disruption would have serious implications for the region.

4.   However, it is not all doom and gloom. This crisis could be an opportunity for countries to accelerate their transition to a more secure and sustainable energy future. Our economies will recover, as will consumption and manufacturing activities, which will lead to increased energy demand. Despite a temporary drop in emissions, the urgent need to combat climate change remains. How can we seize new growth opportunities and work together towards a low carbon energy future?

The SIEW theme and Singapore’s Energy Transformation

5.   Given this context, I am pleased to announce the theme for SIEW 2020 – “Creating our Low Carbon Energy Future Together”.

6.   Despite being an alternative energy disadvantaged country, Singapore is playing our part towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. As part of our Energy Story announced at SIEW 2019, we aim to increase solar deployment to at least 2 gigawatt-peak (GWp) by 2030. This will be coupled with at least 200MW of Energy Storage Systems beyond 2025, to mitigate intermittency issues. We have since achieved our 2020 solar deployment target of 350 megawatt-peak (MWp) in the first quarter of this year.

7.   We have also commissioned studies on emerging low carbon alternatives such as hydrogen and Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS). This will inform the development of long-term low carbon strategies for Singapore. We will also work closely with companies to further develop pre-commercial and deployment-ready technologies as well as business models for these solutions.

Highlights at SIEW 2020

8.   On this note, let me share some exciting plans for SIEW 2020. Together with the International Energy Agency, we will be co-hosting the 2nd Global Ministerial Conference on System Integration of Renewable Energy. The Conference will bring together Ministers and industry leaders to discuss developments and solutions to enhance energy security, sustainability and affordability.

9.   S&P Global Platts will host a new conference on the LNG & Hydrogen Gas Markets in Asia, with a special focus on the growth and development of the hydrogen in the region. Asia Clean Energy Summit will examine clean energy alternatives including floating photovoltaics. Asian Downstream Summit 2020 will be co-located with the Asian Refining Technology Conference, with a focus on sustainability & productivity in refining & petrochemicals.

Conclusion

10.  As we kick start this year’s discussions, I would like to thank Mr Neil Atkinson from the International Energy Agency, Mr Tan Cheng Guan from Sembcorp Industries and Ms Goh Swee Chen from Global Compact Network Singapore for joining us today. I look forward to hearing their views on co-creating our low carbon energy future.

11.  I hope all of you will enjoy the presentations and interactive discussions ahead. We look forward to your participation at the 13th SIEW on 26-30 October 2020 at the Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Thank you.

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