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Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at the Singapore-IEA Forum at the Singapore International Energy Week "Delivering on Our Net Zero Commitments"

Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at the Singapore-IEA Forum at the Singapore International Energy Week "Delivering on Our Net Zero Commitments"

Ms Mary Warlick, Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency,

 

Excellencies,

 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

1. Good morning and a very warm welcome to the Singapore-International Energy Agency (IEA) Forum.

                                      

2. At last year's Singapore-International Energy Agency Ministerial Roundtable, we came together to discuss Energy Security in a Low-Carbon World. The global community has taken steps towards strengthening our collective energy security while making progress towards a clean energy transition.

 

3. We are here today to continue building on our collective efforts on energy transition – and more specifically getting to net-zero. The world is at a critical juncture in the fight against climate change. It is not enough just to set targets and make promises. We have to follow through on our commitments.

 

Delivering on Our Net Zero Commitments

 

4. Let us leave no stone unturned as we work together to accelerate investments in clean energy, foster innovation and strengthen international cooperation.

 

  a. Investments in clean energy, along with enhancements to our grid infrastructure, are essential to accelerating the deployment of renewables and new energy technologies. Wind, solar, hydropower, hydrogen and other low carbon technologies offer pathways towards achieving net zero.

 

i. In Singapore, we have deployed 1 Gigawatt-peak of solar and are on track to achieving our target of 2 Gigawatt-peak by 2030. We have maximised solar deployment by leveraging innovative deployment of solar, such as on water bodies and on temporarily vacant land. To manage solar intermittency, we have also launched the largest energy storage system in Southeast Asia, at 285 MWh. These efforts have made Singapore one of the most solar-dense cities in the world.

 

ii. Besides solar, Singapore is exploring other potential decarbonisation pathways. In September 2023, we launched a new study to assess Singapore's deep geothermal resource potential for the purposes of power generation.  This follows the localised exploratory studies conducted in northern and eastern Singapore, which have shown promise. If successful, geothermal could be another indigenous energy option that Singapore could harness to support our climate change commitments.

 

iii. Singapore is also actively studying the possible role of civilian nuclear energy as part of our effort to explore all possible options to decarbonise our power sector.

 

b. Next, we must foster innovation and drive advancements in clean energy.

 

i. Singapore has set aside over S$180 million of Research, Innovation and Enterprise funds under the Low Carbon Energy Research (LCER) to support R&D into low-carbon technologies, such as Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and low-carbon hydrogen.

 

ii. Yesterday, Minister Gan announced that we will be issuing a Request for Proposal for a small-scale commercial project utilising low-carbon ammonia for power generation and bunkering. Given the relative nascency of the technology and global supply chain, we will work closely with the selected developer to implement the Project. We will also continue to identify and work with domestic and international partners on new innovations that can support the establishment of global hydrogen supply chains as well as hydrogen standards and certifications.

 

c. Third, while our global community comes together to make individual net-zero commitments, we have a much better chance of achieving our commitments by harnessing all of our collective efforts. It is my wish that we can all  work closely together, exchange knowledge, and pool resources to accelerate all of these efforts.

 

i. The push to collectively address climate change is now shining a spotlight on the role of interconnectivity and energy trade. Interconnectivity can enable the matching of supply from countries with significant renewable potential with the demand from other markets, and through this catalyse and accelerate the development of renewable energy projects.

 

ii. Second, the harnessing and trading of renewable energy will contribute towards the growth of a regional green economy.

 

iii. Third, regional interconnectivity can provide greater energy security and resilience for the region through enabling mutual support for grids in time of system need.

 

iv. Singapore is working closely with our regional partners to advance the development of an ASEAN power grid.

 

Strengthening partnership with IEA

 

5. Last month, the IEA issued the latest update to its Net Zero Roadmap. The findings are encouraging. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s energy sector to net zero and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees remains possible due to the record growth and adoption of clean energy technologies.

 

6. It behoves all of Southeast Asia to play our part. I believe I speak for my fellow ASEAN Member States when I say that we welcome the IEA’s policy guidance, technical assistance and capacity building to accelerate our regional transition towards a sustainable energy future.

 

7. Since the signing of the ASEAN-IEA Memorandum of Understanding in 2011, the IEA has been actively supporting the region’s energy transition efforts. These include special reports such as the Decarbonisation Pathways for Southeast Asia, which was published in April this year.

 

8. IEA and its member countries agree that more can be done to support Southeast Asia’s journey towards net-zero. That is why Singapore and the IEA have been working together to study the setting up of an IEA Regional Cooperation Centre in Singapore. I hope we will bring the idea to fruition very soon. Ambassador Mary, we look forward to the IEA’s support and Dr Birol’s and your personal leadership on this matter.  

 

Conclusion

 

9. This will be a decisive decade in all of our collective journies to net-zero. Platforms such as today’s Forum are important in bringing all of us together to take a serious look at, and to seriously consider, and seriously implement how much we can do and how much more we have to invest. I look forward to working with all of you to deliver on our climate commitments.

 

10. Thank you very much.

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