Opening Remarks by Mr Ralph Foong, Deputy Chief Executive, Energy Planning & Development Division, Energy Market Authority, at the SIEW Techtable on 27 October 2022
27 Oct 2022
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. Good afternoon.
2. I am delighted to welcome all of you to this inaugural SIEW TechTable. Today’s session will serve as an important platform to discuss the role of emerging low-carbon energy technologies amidst the aim to be net zero.
The Role of Technologies in the Global Energy Transformation
3. The world is moving together to respond to the demands of an increasingly carbon-constrained world. Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced earlier this week that Singapore aspires to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Other economies have similarly committed to achieving net zero emissions. We must now collectively move forward by developing concrete plans to make the transition towards net zero. Technology will be a key enabler on this journey.
4. To start with, clean energy technologies that are already commercially available and cost-competitive, like wind and solar energy, are already being deployed globally, and this deployment must continue and be accelerated. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Net Zero by 2050 report, global clean energy investment will need to more than triple to around US$4 trillion annually by 2030.
5. At the same time, current technologies alone will not get us to where we need to be. The IEA estimated that almost half of the reduction in emissions in 2050 will come from technologies that are currently at the demonstration or prototype phase. Accelerating innovations and building a vibrant technology ecosystem will be critical.
Accelerating Clean Energy Transition Efforts
6. The good news is that many countries globally are stepping up to address the climate challenge like never before. Across the Asia Pacific, countries are doubling down on our clean energy transition efforts. Beyond solar and wind, there is increasing investment and momentum behind new and emerging technologies such as battery energy storage, low-emissions hydrogen, and carbon capture.
7. Singapore is also doing more. As part of the Singapore Energy Transition, there is a strong focus on accelerating innovations around emerging low-carbon technologies such as hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage. Such technologies have the potential to further reduce our carbon emissions and bring about green economic opportunities and green growth.
8. Collaborations on Research and Development to push the technological frontiers, and Commercialization to enable emerging technologies to be widely deployed, are necessary to realise such opportunities. Singapore is sparing no efforts on this front.
9. First, we have committed S$25 billion, or 1% of our GDP, over five years to R&D under the Research, Innovation, and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 Plan, including in Urban Solutions and Sustainability. We are conducting research and development to advance hydrogen technologies. In October 2021, we awarded S$55 million to support 12 research, development and demonstration projects on low-carbon technologies under the first phase of a Low Carbon Energy Research (LCER) Programme. A further S$129 million is now being set aside for Phase 2.
10. Second, we are strengthening our cooperation with international governments in these areas through several Memorandum of Understandings, such as with Australia, Chile, Japan and New Zealand. Singapore is also a Government Partner in the First Movers Coalition.
11. Third, participation and collaborations across the wider ecosystem of stakeholders, including industry and academia, are critical. In July, the National University of Singapore launched a new Centre for Hydrogen Innovations, a S$25 million research institute with the aim of making hydrogen commercially viable as a green energy source. In August, Keppel Infrastructure announced plans to develop Singapore’s first hydrogen-ready combined cycle gas turbine power plant. These initiatives will further accelerate Singapore’s decarbonisation efforts.
12. To conclude, accelerating the development of energy technologies is at the heart of our clean energy transitions. The cost of renewables-based electricity has decreased significantly over the past decade because of innovation. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimated that the global weighted-average levelised cost of electricity from newly commissioned utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects fell by 85% between 2010 and 2020. We must continue to be bold to innovate and invest in a more sustainable energy system for the future.
13. Without further ado, I look forward to the fruitful and engaging discussions at today’s SIEW TechTable. I would like to thank the various industry speakers for the valuable insights they will share today, as well as EDF for sponsoring the session.
14. Thank you.
 The First Movers Coalition (FMC) was launched by the US and the World Economic Forum in Nov 2021 at COP26. The FMC serves as a platform for companies to harness their purchasing power and supply chains to create early markets for innovative clean energy technologies.
Source: IRENA World Energy Transition Outlook 2022, March 2022
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