Speech by SMS Koh Poh Koon at the 3rd Singapore-International Energy Agency Forum

Speech by SMS Koh Poh Koon at the 3rd Singapore-International Energy Agency Forum

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


1. Good morning.  I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you at the 3rd edition of the Singapore-IEA Forum. 

2. The Singapore-IEA Forum serves as an important platform for global energy leaders to discuss the future of energy systems and markets.  This year, the Forum will feature the launch of IEA‘s Southeast Asia Energy Outlook 2019, and discuss the opportunities and challenges in the region’s energy landscape.

ASEAN-IEA Cooperation for Southeast Asia’s Energy Transition

3. The energy landscape in Southeast Asia is transforming rapidly, in the production, management and consumption of energy.  According to the IEA, renewables represent a growing share of capacity additions, although fossil fuels still continue to dominate power generation.  Pressing climate change concerns highlight the need for us to take concrete steps towards forging a more sustainable energy future.

4. Since the signing of the ASEAN-IEA Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Cooperation in 2011, the IEA has provided strong support to ASEAN in our progress towards our collective goals.  Most recently, the IEA developed a Feasibility Study on ASEAN Multilateral Power Trade to support ASEAN’s vision to establish multilateral power trading in the region.  Multilateral power trading can bring multiple benefits to Southeast Asia, including reduced system costs, increased energy security and enabling integration of more renewable energy.  

Singapore’s 2030 Energy Story

5. The Southeast Asia Energy Outlook highlights the opportunities and risks that the region faces, as we look to meet rising demand in a secure, affordable and sustainable manner.  Singapore is also playing our role in the clean energy transition, by transforming the way we power our growth.

6. Yesterday, Minister Chan announced that Singapore will create our Energy Story harnessing the four switches of “Natural Gas”, “Solar”, “Regional Power Grids”, and “Emerging Low-Carbon Alternatives”.

7. An equally important factor is energy efficiency - the efficient use of energy.  Given our equatorial climate, we expect greater demand for cooling as temperatures rise.  This has been aptly addressed by the IEA in one of the three key focuses of the Outlook, which is cooling efficiency.

8. Last year, the Building and Construction Authority introduced the Green Mark for Super Low Energy scheme, a new voluntary energy rating for buildings that are at least 60 per cent more energy efficient compared with 2005 building codes.  We are also devoting R&D efforts to promising cooling technologies that can lead to 30 to 40 percent of energy savings.  We hope more buildings will consider deploying solar on their rooftops and also improve their energy efficiency.

9. In July this year, Singapore and the IEA jointly organised the Singapore-IEA Regional Training Programme on Green Buildings, to equip government officials and energy professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge and networks in developing greener and smarter buildings.  The training programme drew strong participation of over 100 participants from 15 countries, and included a well-received site visit to Singapore’s first Net Zero Energy Building at the National University of Singapore’s School of Design and Environment.  

Singapore-IEA Cooperation 

10. Singapore’s cooperation with the IEA has grown from strength to strength since we became an Association Country to the IEA in 2016.  In the past three years, we have developed various initiatives that continue to benefit the region, through capacity building and knowledge sharing in the areas of energy efficiency, energy investments and digitalisation. 

11. Singapore and the IEA will continue reviewing our cooperation to ensure that it remains relevant for the region.  I am pleased to announce that in 2020 we will be co-hosting a training programme on the integration of renewable energy and energy efficiency in cities.  As the region’s energy demand grows, we welcome views from colleagues in ASEAN and the industry on other areas that we can cooperate with the IEA on, for the benefit of the region. More importantly, as we leverage digitalisation and technology, we need to continue to uplift our workforce in ASEAN to make sure that our workforce keeps pace with technology advancements.


12. With a strong line-up of leaders and industry captains, the outcomes of our discussions today will help to identify areas of cooperation for the region and contribute towards ensuring greater sustainability and resilience as we progress towards a smart energy future.   

13. I wish you all a fruitful discussion.  Thank you.

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