Opening Remarks by Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth at Youth@SIEW
29 Oct 2021
1. A very good morning to all students, educators and industry partners. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak at today’s event.
2. Electricity is essential in powering our daily lives. How electricity is produced and used is equally important.
3. As the world moves towards a low-carbon energy future, Singapore’s efforts to decarbonise the energy sector is a top priority. We will continue to push for a cleaner energy mix to achieve our decarbonisation goals. I believe this transformation presents a wonderful opportunity for us to push boundaries, innovate and develop new technologies to propel our energy sector forward and shape Singapore’s energy future.
Seizing Opportunities in Singapore’s Energy Transition
4. We launched the Singapore Green Plan 2030 earlier this year. The Plan charts ambitious targets for the next decade. We aim to catalyse sustainability as a core part of Singapore’s future. A key pillar of the Plan is an Energy Reset. This will change the way Singapore produces and uses energy. At the same time, our energy transition will continue to be anchored by the 4 Switches - namely natural gas, solar, regional power grids and low-carbon alternatives. We will move closer to our goals when we each do our part by adopting more energy efficient practices in our daily lives.
5. I mentioned “pushing the boundaries” earlier. Let me start with solar as an example. Solar is our most viable form of renewable energy. Despite Singapore’s land constraints, we are one of the most solar-dense cities in the world. Since 2015, our installed solar capacity has grown more than seven times. And we plan to do more – we are targeting to deploy at least 2 gigawatt-peak of solar power by 2030. This is equivalent to powering about 350,000 households for a year. To overcome our land constraints, we are pursuing innovative ways of deploying solar panels, such as having solar photovoltaic systems on water bodies.
6. The Government is also committed to supporting the development of regional power grids. This would allow us to facilitate the development of low-carbon energy in the region and access alternative energy sources. As Minister Gan Kim Yong announced earlier this week, we are embarking on small-scale trials for electricity imports. Such trials will allow us to refine the technical and regulatory issues that may arise with cross-border power trading, and pave the way for more of such activities on a larger-scale.
7. To further reduce our carbon footprint for the longer term, we will continue to actively explore and test-bed low-carbon technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage. As part of these efforts, we launched the first grant call for the Low-Carbon Energy Research Funding Initiative earlier this year. This will support 12 R&D and demonstration projects in low-carbon technologies totalling about $55 million. The projects cover a wide range of research topics, from studying the design of carbon dioxide storage in the ocean, to developing sensors that detect hydrogen leakage. We look forward to these projects boosting our sustainability efforts.
8. As we continue to transform our energy ecosystem, job opportunities in the clean energy sector will also be created. This includes new and expanded job roles in areas such as solar, energy storage systems, smart grids, and hydrogen. Later, you will get to hear from Mark and Jen, who are leaders in their respective fields. They will share their views on the global energy transition and talk about the exciting career opportunities in their sectors.
9. To build up a competent workforce, EMA works closely with the industry to nurture young talent. This year, I am pleased to announce our 3 Energy-Industry Scholarship recipients - Bryan Low Zi Yao, Muhammad Harith Bin Hidayat and Wang Dinghong Wesley. My heartiest congratulations to all of you, your families and teachers on your wonderful achievement! Young people like you form a vital part of Singapore’s energy future and I look forward to hearing about your innovative ideas. We are also grateful to the sponsors - Keppel Merlimau Cogen, Senoko Energy and Tuas Power, for helping build up our talent pipeline for Singapore’s energy sector.
10. Let me tell you a little more about one of the EIS recipients, Bryan. He is currently pursuing a diploma in Mechatronics and Robotics. Bryan shared that what attracted him to the energy sector was the opportunity to work in power plants as he has always been fascinated by how they are run and how they power our entire nation. – so dear youths, you can play a direct role in our energy future, like Bryan, Harith and also Wesley. With climate change being a pressing concern, Bryan aspires to help Singapore transition towards a cleaner and greener energy future. He hopes to make power generation more sustainable when he joins Keppel Merlimau Cogen in future. Youths like Bryan, Wesley and Muhammad Harith contribute to shaping Singapore’s energy future. I hope you will seize the opportunities that come your way and contribute meaningfully to this fast-evolving and exciting sector.
11. So far, the sponsoring organisations behind the EIS awards have come from key licensees in the power sector, such as the generation companies, or gencos, and SP Group. With the growth of the low-carbon energy sector, we are looking to expand the EIS to involve clean energy companies in areas such as solar, energy storage systems and smart grids. This will widen opportunities and help more companies gain a capable workforce ready to take on good jobs in clean energy. We encourage youths like yourselves to consider a future in low-carbon energy and power companies. It’s exciting to be at the forefront of Singapore’s energy transition. On this note, I am pleased to share that Sunseap Group, a clean energy solutions provider, will be a new sponsor for the EIS from 2022. Thank you to Sunseap, and we welcome more companies from the clean energy sector to come onboard the EIS.
12. Besides scholarship opportunities, our youths with a keen interest in the energy sector also have a chance to contribute as Energy Ambassadors. The Energy Ambassadors Programme, or EAP, was started by EMA in 2018. On top of their studies, Energy Ambassadors work with EMA and engage in various activities to spread the word about the energy sector to their peers. We will be recognising their stellar efforts at the EAP Recognition Ceremony later. On behalf of MTI and EMA, I would like to say congratulations and a job well done to all the Energy Ambassadors! I am also pleased to announce the appointment of the 2nd batch of Energy Ambassadors. The 11 strong advocates have each demonstrated a fiery passion for the energy sector. Later, we will hear from two of them – Mr Tan Kee Yee from Singapore Institute of Technology and Miss Zaphia Arisha from ITE College West who will share about their aspirations for our energy sector.
13. As Singapore moves towards a fast-evolving, technology-driven energy future, many more opportunities in the green economy are opening up. We encourage and welcome young people like many of you here, to join us in achieving an energy reset for a more sustainable Singapore. With your ideas, passion and ingenuity, I am certain you can be a force for positive change in our energy sector. We hope you will take the opportunity today to learn more about this promising industry and consider developing your future and career in this exciting space.
14. Finally, a big thank our energy sector captains, HR representatives and educators for all your dedication and efforts in inspiring and nurturing our next generation of potential energy leaders. I look forward to our dialogue session later.
15. Thank you.
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