Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) how many domestic households have currently installed solar panels for electricity production; (b) how much electricity is contributed to the national power grid by these domestic households; and (c) how much carbon emission has been reduced as a result.
Dr Lim Wee Kiak: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry (a) whether the Minister can provide an update on the blockchain-enabled digital platform that allows households with registered solar photovoltaic panels to sell renewable energy to businesses; and (b) whether there are plans to extend this to the open energy market.
1. Mr Speaker, may I have your permission to answer questions 2935 and 2936 together.
2. There are about 950 private residential solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, and more than 1,400 installations on HDB rooftops islandwide, that are connected to the power grid. Together, they make up more than 80% of the total number of solar installations in Singapore.
3. These installations contribute about 0.16% of Singapore’s electricity generation and reduce our carbon emissions by about 35 kilotonnes per year. This is equivalent to the emissions produced by the annual electricity consumption of almost 20,000 HDB 4-room households.
4. SP Group launched a blockchain-based platform called the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Marketplace in 2018. This REC Marketplace aims to enable the transaction of Renewable Energy Certificates, or “green credits”, which are sold separately from the actual clean electricity generated. So far, various companies such as DBS and City Developments Limited have signed up to participate in the platform. We understand that the REC Marketplace is currently open to businesses only, but SP intends to extend the platform to residential consumers with solar PV panels at a later stage.
5. The Government has also implemented various initiatives to encourage the deployment of solar installations by households. We have simplified the process to enable households to sell their surplus electricity to the grid through SP Group as an intermediary. Households may also enter into commercial arrangements to sell their excess solar electricity to retailers, who can then on-sell the solar electricity to other consumers in the Open Electricity Market. In addition, HDB has awarded three tenders totalling 166 Megawatt Peak (MWp) of solar generation capacity, and will be awarding a fourth tender of 70 MWp shortly. These panels will be installed on over 4,500 HDB blocks, as well as on the roofs of other government buildings. By 2020, HDB aims to have 5,500 HDB blocks fitted with, or identified for solar installation.
6. Solar power is our most viable clean energy option, given our land constraints, urban density, and geographic and climatic conditions, which pose challenges in tapping on other alternative energy sources such as hydro, wind and geothermal energy. Hence, the Government will actively continue to work with all stakeholders, including households, to maximise solar energy adoption in Singapore.