Opening Remarks by Mr Richard Lim, Chairman, EMA at the Future of the Grid event

28 Oct 2021

Excellencies,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Good morning. First, I would like to thank all of you for joining us today at the 14th Singapore International Energy Week or SIEW. I would also like to extend my appreciation to Clarion Events Asia for their partnership in organising the inaugural conference on the “Future of the Grid” this morning.

2. Today’s event serves as a timely platform to examine the challenges and opportunities faced by the power grid systems as we transition towards a more sustainable energy future. There will be various discussions on smart grid trends, the implications and opportunities arising from electrification, including from electric vehicles adoption, grid technologies and development of sustainable roadmaps.

Singapore Energy Transition

3. The Future of the Grid conference aligns well with this year’s theme for SIEW, which is “Advancing the Energy Transition”. Given the global momentum to tackle climate change, the energy transition is an urgent priority for many countries, including Singapore.

4. As global energy demand recovers, more effort will be needed to strike a balance between economic growth, environmental sustainability and energy security.

5. With increasing electrification, the power sector will have a significant role in accelerating the low-carbon energy transition, as well as meeting Singapore’s climate change targets.

6. In line with this, Singapore has key plans to navigate this energy transition.

7. Singapore will continue to utilise natural gas as a key fuel source, while scaling up cleaner sources of energy.

8. To decarbonise our power sector, Singapore aims to increase solar deployment to 1.5 gigawatt-peak by 2025, and to deploy at least 2 gigawatt-peak by 2030.

9. This is sufficient to provide clean power to around 260,000 and 350,000 households a year respectively.

10. To support this, we are investing in innovative ways to harness this renewable energy source, and to develop solutions to manage the intermittency of solar.

11. Some examples of innovative deployments include those on reservoirs, offshore spaces and building facades.

12. To address solar intermittency, EMA is also seeking to deploy at least 200MW of Energy Storage Systems beyond 2025.

13. As an alternative energy disadvantaged country, we expect technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (or CCUS) to play important roles in our energy transition.

14. The government has commissioned studies to better understand the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen and CCUS, and to identify potential pathways for these solutions can reduce Singapore’s carbon emissions in the longer term.

15. We are also driving a research agenda to develop and test-bed promising low-carbon energy technologies, which will help reduce Singapore’s carbon footprint.

16. In 2020, we launched the S$49 million Low-Carbon Energy Research Funding Initiative to develop promising solutions to decarbonise the power and industry sectors. This year, we have increased the funding amount to $55 million, in response to the many good proposals that we had received.

17. We are working with the industry to explore hydrogen test beds, such as trials to blend hydrogen with natural gas in our existing power plants.

18. If successful, such efforts can provide insights on operational considerations when it comes to burning hydrogen, which is a clean source of fuel, in Singapore.

19. Beyond hydrogen and CCUS, the government will continue to invest in efforts to uncover other low-carbon alternative energy sources, and to expedite the deployment of technologically viable solutions.

20. One example is geothermal energy, which is now more accessible due to advancements in geothermal technologies. We are working with Nanyang Technological University to conduct studies on geothermal potential in Singapore, and will continue to explore other in-situ renewable energy sources.

21. The energy transition also needs to be paced to mitigate supply disruptions and ensure that energy security is not compromised. We will progressively roll out a smarter grid and improve our grid architecture, developing advanced control systems and leveraging digital technologies.

22. This includes working with the SP Group and the Science and Technology Policy and Plans Office, Prime Minister’s Office, to develop a Grid Digital Twin for Singapore to enhance our future grid network planning and operations.

23. At the same time, we will empower consumers to self-manage consumption and adopt greater energy efficiency.

24. The Energy Market Authority has also commissioned an Energy 2050 Committee to examine the long-term trends affecting the energy sector and recommend strategies to navigate sustainably towards a net-zero future. We envisage to publicise the report next year.

Transformation of Grids in the Region

25. The transformation of grids is also important for the region. Substantial investments in renewable energy technologies will be required across ASEAN to meet the ambitious regional targets.

26. Increased power system connectivity will also enable more efficient use of resources, enhance grid stability and service in remote areas, and improve energy security. Hence, power systems transformation would be an important consideration to accelerate energy transition and strengthen energy resilience in the region.

27. Singapore is supporting the development of a regional power grid. We will be conducting small-scale trials for electricity imports with different partners.

28. These include importing 100 megawatts of electricity from Malaysia, up to 100 megawatts of hydropower under the Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP), and 100 megawatts of solar power from Pulau Bulan.

29. Moving forward, Singapore aims to tap on low-carbon energy from the region, importing up to 4 gigawatt by 2035.

Conclusion

30. The Singapore Energy Transition is a collective effort among all stakeholders in the public and private sector. This transition will facilitate the growth of a green economy, with emerging green growth opportunities for enterprises, industries and creation of new jobs.

31. International cooperation will also be crucial for countries to work together to share knowledge and leverage on complementary resources.

32. I look forward to today’s discussions by the distinguished speakers on the challenges, policies, and strategies needed to transform our future grid. I wish everyone a fruitful discussion ahead.

33. Thank you.

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