Strengthening Collaborations to Advance Energy Transitions while Safeguarding Energy Security
1. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. A warm welcome to all of you to the Singapore International Energy Week and to the 2nd Singapore-International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) High-Level Forum.
2. I would like to welcome Director General La Camera to Singapore and express my appreciation to the attendees at this Forum, which is also held in collaboration with the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) for the first time.
3. This Forum comes at a pivotal moment amidst a very challenging energy landscape. Rising energy prices due to increasing demand and tight supply has put Governments and industries in a delicate position of balancing energy security, resiliency, and affordability, while remaining committed to arresting the impact of climate change.
Renewable Energy Potential in Southeast Asia
4. Southeast Asia is a region rich in renewable energy potential. There is the potential to scale the share of renewable energy to 65% by 2050 and to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions by 75%. I am pleased to note that IRENA will be sharing their valuable insights from the 2nd ASEAN Renewable Energy Outlook.
5. Singapore has always been supportive in the development of renewable energy projects both domestically and regionally.
Domestic Efforts to Develop Renewable Energy Projects
6. Singapore’s companies and research institutions have been accelerating solar deployment across various parts of Singapore. The Keppel Infrastructure @ Changi Building, which just re-opened last month, was retrofitted with over 4,000 square metres of photovoltaics. This is expected to yield about 600,000 kWh/year of renewable energy, double the building energy consumption.
7. We are also pushing boundaries and exploring innovative ways to enhance renewable energy deployment in Singapore:
a. We are exploring co-location with existing infrastructure and uses such as roads, canals, and agricultural spaces, to maximise deployment in our highly urbanised environment. This is doable. A Solar Green Roof featuring the co-location of a 285 kw-peak solar PV system and greenery has been deployed near the Main Village at Pulau Ubin. This test-bed will examine the use of greenery to regulate ambient temperatures of rooftop solar deployment.
8. As we work to introduce more renewables into the system, it is essential to ensure resiliency in our grid. We are making significant moves in developing supporting infrastructure such as the power grid and energy storage systems. For example:
a. SembCorp is installing a 200MWh Energy Storage System (ESS) on Jurong Island which will be operational by November 2022. This is the largest ESS deployment in Southeast Asia. This project will support our efforts to enhance grid reliability and also maximise solar deployment in Singapore.
Commercial Collaborations in the Region to Develop Renewable Energy
9. Our companies’ experience in deploying and maximizing solar deployment in Singapore, as well as deploying supporting infrastructure like energy storage, put them in a good stead to work with international and regional partners on renewable energy development in the region.
10. Beyond clean energy companies, Singapore is also committed to supporting Asia’s transition to a low-carbon economy through its Green Finance Action Plan. We are working to galvanise and channel funding to support the decarbonisation efforts. Platforms such as Infrastructure Asia also serve as a bridge to connect the region’s public and private sectors in scaling the visibility of infrastructure projects.
Energy Conservation and Demand Response
11. While we seek to produce more renewable energy to meet demand, it is ultimately important for us to conserve energy to reduce overall energy demand and emissions, while contributing simultaneously to energy stability.
12. To achieve this, it is necessary for both the private and public sectors to work together, and put in place the right incentives for the private sector to manage their energy demand.
13. Commercial and industrial consumers are invited to participate in a two-year Demand Response/Interruptible Load sandbox to optimise their energy demand. We have taken in feedback from the industry to streamline the programmes to make it easier for potential participants to take part, such as streamlining and reducing penalty thresholds as well as providing more certainty in activation times to participants.
14. More than just being a gathering of thought leaders from around the world, I hope that today’s Forum is testament to the strong relationship between Singapore and IRENA.
15. I am confident that today’s Forum will provide excellent thought leadership on the clean energy transition and contribute significantly to the upcoming discussion COP27 Conference in Egypt. With that, may I now invite Director General La Camera to deliver his remarks. Director General, please.
16. Thank you very much.