Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) 2020: In Dialogue with Youth Event

30 Oct 2020

1. Good morning to all students, educators and industry partners. I am pleased to join you here in today’s dialogue to share and exchange views on Singapore’s Energy Landscape.

2. Let me first thank Mr Kelvin Lim, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Durapower Holdings, for joining us today to share his working experience and providing our students with insights on the energy sector.

3. 2020 has been a challenging year – both globally and also in Singapore. We are all coping with the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

4. During this period, we have had to adapt to new ways of learning and different business models, as well as digitalise and innovate. This has brought about new opportunities in Singapore’s energy sector as we seek to build a greener and more resilient energy future, while reaping the benefits of technological advancement.

5. I would like to share with you our energy story, and how youth like yourselves can play a role in transforming Singapore towards a more sustainable future.

Singapore’s Energy Story

6. Over the last 50 years, our energy supplies have evolved significantly. We moved from heavy reliance on oil-fired power plants towards greater adoption of a cleaner and more reliable fuel - natural gas, which now contributes 95% of our electricity supply.

7. However, we continue to face challenging constraints given our limited access to alternative energy resources that are greener and more sustainable.

8. Given this context, how do we overcome such constraints and transform ourselves? This is our challenge for the next 50 years – we need to achieve Reliability, Affordability, and Sustainability in our energy story to meet Singapore’s future social and economic needs.

    a. Our energy story is anchored on four important switches – natural gas, solar, regional power grids, and low-carbon alternatives.

    b. We will continue to diversify our natural gas sources and improve the efficiency of our power generation. We will also accelerate our deployment of solar power.

In addition, we will need to access more energy options such as electricity imports from the region, while also exploring low-carbon alternatives like hydrogen and carbon capture and utilisation at the same time.

9. Our energy story presents new economic and job opportunities for Singaporeans, especially youths like yourselves, who will write the energy and Singapore stories for the next 50 years.

Call-to-action to youths to be part of the power engineering community

10. To build a stronger and more resilient energy sector, it is important for us to have a strong, capable and highly adaptable core of power engineering professionals.

11. Youth, like yourselves, can play an important role in our energy story, not only as consumers, but also as professionals in this industry.

    a. The video we just watched presents many fresh and exciting career opportunities in the Energy sector which we hope will spark your interest in joining this promising industry.

    b. At this point, I am also delighted to announce the launch of two new energy education resources developed in collaboration with MOE - the “360-degree MOE-EMA 360-degree” Geography Video and “Boil-off Gas Recovery” Science Video.

    c. These videos give us a glimpse into the innovations developed in the energy sector today, such as Sembcorp Solar’s floating solar farm at Tengah Reservoir. These exciting advancements are driving sustainability in the energy sector.


Singapore Energy Grand Challenge (Youth)

12. Two weeks ago, I attended the award ceremony for the inaugural Singapore Energy Grand Challenge (Youth).

    a. In this competition, students imagined and co-created solutions for the energy future which they envision in 2050 using Minecraft. Their entries were captivating and demonstrate how youths can make a difference to the world they live in.

    b. I was very impressed with the level of focus and effort exhibited by all the teams.

      i. Team Physicsociety for example, delivered an impressive Minecraft world with ideas underpinned by scientific concepts. They achieved this while juggling their O’ levels exams at the same time.

      ii. The team came up with the idea of applying the thermoelectric effect to take advantage of temperature differences between the hot outdoors and air-conditioned indoors to generate electricity.

13. Our youths are undoubtedly the drivers of a better future. The champions of the competition, Team Futurae, capture it well with their tagline: “It’s our Energy Story. Ours to create.”

14. Through these competitions, we hope our students will gain a deeper appreciation of our Energy Story, understand the constraints faced by policymakers and learn not to take our energy security, affordability and sustainability for granted.

Energy Industry Scholarship Recipient

15. Let me share with you a story of an aspiring engineer, Teo Mei Fang who is a past Energy Industry Scholarship recipient.

    a. Mei Fang graduated from Singapore Polytechnic in 2019 with a Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

    b. The scholarship not only provided her with the resources to complete her Diploma studies in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Singapore Polytechnic in 2019, but also provided her with practical industrial experience while she interned and worked as a technical officer in SP Group.

    c. Mei Fang was also inspired by the female engineers she met in the energy sector to pursue further studies in engineering. She is now studying for a part-time degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NTU, supported by her sponsoring organisation.

16. I hope that the Energy-Industry Scholarship Awards and the Singapore-Industry Scholarships (catered for ITE, Polytechnic and University students) offered by both EMA and MOE and co-sponsored by our industry partners will motivate more young men and women to create and shape Singapore’s energy future, and write our energy story together.

Conclusion

17. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented changes to our lives and the energy sector. The energy sector will need to leverage on innovative technological solutions to enable us to use and produce energy sustainably.

18. For this to take place, we need youth like you to come on board with your creative ideas, innovative energy and dedicated passion to build Singapore’s energy story.

19. Together, let’s write an energy story that sees a more reliable, more sustainable and more affordable energy sector in Singapore.

20. On this note, allow me to, on behalf of MTI and EMA, thank the energy sector captains, HR representatives and educators for your efforts in inspiring our next generation of energy leaders.

21. I look forward to hearing your views and thoughts in the dialogue session later. Thank you.

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