Nurturing Young Talent for the Clean Energy Sector
1. A very good morning to all students, educators and industry partners. It is my pleasure to join you today at Youth@SIEW. Time flies. This year is the 15th anniversary of the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) and it also marks Youth@SIEW’s 10th birthday. Thank you to all of you for your unwavering support!
Seizing Opportunities in Singapore’s Energy Transition
2. Earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced our accelerated goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To attain this aim, Singapore’s energy sector will undergo a significant transformation. Together, we will seek to chart a more resilient and sustainable energy future for Singapore.
3. To do this, Singapore will press on with our “4 Energy Switches” – Natural Gas, Solar, Regional Power Grids and Low-Carbon Alternatives.
4. Natural gas, the cleanest burning fossil fuel, will continue to be an important fuel for our energy transition while we explore low-carbon alternatives such as hydrogen.
5. Solar is presently Singapore’s most viable renewable energy source, and we will rev up its maximal deployment. We will continue to pursue innovative ways of deploying solar panels. In July last year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched our largest solar panel deployment at Tengeh Reservoir. This project involves the installation of 122,000 solar panels, and it is the size of 45 football fields. In terms of capacity, it can generate capacity of 60 megawatts (MW) – enough to power 16,000 4-room flats. Tengeh Reservoir. Overall, we are on track to achieving our target of deploying at least 2 gigawatt-peak of solar by 2030. This would generate enough energy to meet the annual electricity needs of some 350,000 households.
6. To mitigate solar intermittency, EMA is facilitating the adoption of energy storage systems, or ESS, in Singapore by working with the industry to test-bed and deploy ESS. We completed test-bedding the first utility-scale ESS this year. This has helped to guide policies and standards on ESS, while complementing and enhancing the security of our power supply.
7. EMA has also appointed Sembcorp to build, own and operate an ESS on Jurong Island which has a capacity of 200 megawatts hour (MWh) of energy storage capacity, and 200 megawatts (MW) of discharge capacity. When the ESS commences operations next month, it will be the largest ESS deployment in Southeast Asia and will support our efforts to enhance the resilience of our power grid.
8. Another key energy switch that will help Singapore to decarbonise our power sector is the development of regional power grids. Singapore announced our target to have an import capacity of up to 4 gigawatts of low-carbon electricity by 2035. This will require significant investments and the development of renewable energy projects in the region. Energy companies, including EDPR Sunseap, Keppel Electric, PacificLight Power, Sembcorp Industries and YTL PowerSeraya, are actively exploring import projects around the region.
9. Besides developing our regional power grids, we will also explore low-carbon alternatives such as hydrogen. While the global low-carbon hydrogen market is still nascent, the adoption of hydrogen will soon become more prevalent as investments in technology and supply chains increase.
10. As we implement strategies to decarbonise our power sector, it is vital to keep our sights on the growth potential emerging from our energy switch.
A Talented Workforce for the Green Economy
11. A few days ago, our Second Minister for Trade and Industry Minister Tan See Leng pointed out at the Asia Clean Energy Summit that new opportunities are emerging in the areas of solar, ESS and smart grids on both the domestic and regional front. This means that there are interesting and fresh prospects for jobs and careers in these areas.
12. As Singapore intensifies our clean energy efforts and builds up our local capabilities and expertise, we will see many more job roles related to these exciting green areas emerging. We saw in the video earlier, how companies like Durapower Group, EDPR Sunseap, Keppel Infrastructure and Sembcorp Industries are up-skilling their people with new capabilities to deploy clean energy solutions. Traditional power generation companies are also pivoting towards clean energy.
13. We will need more people trained for green jobs. For example, to manage and deploy renewables, design renewables systems and develop smart technologies for energy infrastructure. As Singapore ramps up the use of solar energy, demand for expertise in photovoltaics (PV) will grow as companies look to hire PV designers and solar PV project managers.
14. Likewise, with the growth of ESS, the energy sector will be looking for ESS engineers, system designers, and software developers as well as those who can provide procurement, construction and project management services.
15. Therefore, Singapore must build up our people’s skills and knowledge in clean energy. A well-equipped workforce is needed to support our energy transition and to achieve our green goals. With a vibrant pool of skills and talents, we can capture the growth potential of the emerging green economy here and in the region.
16. The recent Job-Skills Insights or JSI by EMA and SkillsFuture Singapore identified the fastest-growing job skills from the changing energy landscape. In demand are digital skills such as programming and coding; data analytics; process improvement and optimisation; and automated process control. As more companies embark on their green journey or enter the clean energy space, new green skills like sustainability management and reporting are also needed.
17. Students, these job insights indicate the rich and diverse potential in the clean energy sector that awaits you. You have a chance to carve a career and bright future in the green sector.
18. Your participation in today’s challenge has brought you closer to the clean energy sector. Your enthusiasm, creativity and solutions for sustainability inject passion and offer fresh ideas for the sector.
19. I encourage you to continue your path of discovery on how you can make a difference through sustainability – whether in your future career or your studies and daily life – by imagining and creating solutions to make Singapore,the region, and our world, a better place.
20. To nurture the interest and participation of young Singaporeans in sustainability, EMA works closely with the energy industry to cultivate young talents through initiatives such as the Energy-Industry Scholarship and Singapore Energy Grand Challenge.
Nurturing Young Talent: Award of Energy-Industry Scholarships (EIS) 2022
21. This year, I am pleased to announce 4 Energy-Industry Scholarship (EIS) recipients – Alex Neo, Manfred Lee, Mohamed Arshath S/O Haja Sheik Allaudeen and Muhammad A’rash bin Noor Effendi.
22. My heartiest congratulations to you, your families, and your teachers on your wonderful achievement! Thank you also to the sponsoring organisations, Eigen Energy, Senoko Energy and Tuas Power, for your strong support in developing a pipeline of youthful talents for Singapore’s energy sector. Upon graduation, the scholarship recipients will have the chance to work on new and exciting energy solutions these companies are involved in.
23. I am delighted to hear that one of the scholarship winners, Manfred Lee, was inspired by his electrician father to join the clean energy transition through his future job. The Tuas Power scholar is currently studying Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Singapore Polytechnic.
24. Manfred, Alex, Arshath and A’rash, congratulations on winning the scholarship. All the best and continue to seize the opportunities that come your way!
Inspiring our Youth: Singapore Energy Grand Challenge (Youth) 2022 – Junior and Senior, and IHL categories
25. Besides scholarship opportunities, our youths also have the chance to imagine and co-create energy solutions to tackle some of today’s energy challenges by participating in the Singapore Energy Grand Challenge (Youth) organised by the EMA.
26. This year’s participants had to solve this challenge statement: “As Singapore transitions towards a carbon-free energy future, how can we reduce our carbon footprint by leveraging the four switches and managing energy demand to achieve a more sustainable Singapore by 2050?”
27. I am delighted to hear that the challenge attracted some 88 very innovative and passionate entries. Out of these submissions, two teams have emerged as champions:
a. Team SUStain from Nanyang Girls’ High School came out top in the Junior category, and
b. Team WACUUMERS from Hwa Chong Institution has won the Senior category.
28. Our digital savvy champions used Microsoft’s Minecraft to illustrate their vision of a more sustainable Singapore in 2050. Their innovative ideas showed the depth of their understanding of how energy demand and supply can be managed to achieve our city’s net zero ambition. It’s encouraging to see how our youth of today are rallying to co-create Singapore’s clean energy future. Congratulations to all the winners!
29. I am also looking forward to hearing the solutions from the older youths participating in this year’s challenge. EMA has opened up the challenge to students from Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) who will compete in the category for ITE, polytechnic and university students. I understand that the six finalists come from a spread of IHLs that include ITE College East, ITE College West, Singapore Polytechnic, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore and Singapore Institute of Technology. They will be pitching their ideas in the grand finals later.
30. I am sure many of you here are passionate about sustainability and will make great advocates. EMA has an Energy Ambassadors Programme where youths work with the agency to engage in various activities to spread the word about the energy sector to their peers. I hope you’ll have a chance to do more as green champions.
31. The transformation to a low-carbon green economy is an exciting chapter in our Singapore story. This is a journey where everyone plays an important part. A big thank you to captains and leaders of the energy sector, HR representatives and educators for your hard work and efforts in nurturing and inspiring our next generation of energy leaders.
32. I strongly believe we have many bright young talents who are dedicated and passionate to see a greener and carbon-free Singapore. I know that together, we can come together as one community to create a more resilient, cleaner and greener and sustainable energy future for this home that we love, our Singapore. Thank you.