SINGAPORE: Singapore has rolled out a series of initiatives to help companies reduce carbon emissions and become more energy efficient, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing announced on Tuesday (Oct 30).
“Our industrial sector consumes a significant amount of energy,” Mr Chan said in his opening remarks at the Singapore International Energy Week.
“Hence, we are rolling out an enhanced set of Industry Energy Efficiency grant schemes to give a stronger push for industrial facilities, including those of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to be more energy efficient.”
The grants come after it was announced in February that a carbon tax on large emitters will kick in next year, with the Government prepared to spend more than S$1 billion in the first five years to support projects that reduce carbon emissions.
During consultation sessions, emitters had voiced concerns that the carbon tax would affect their competitiveness on the global stage, especially as Singapore would be the first country in Southeast Asia to implement the tax.
The grants were launched by the Energy Market Authority (EMA), Economic Development Board (EDB) and National Environment Agency (NEA).
EMA has launched a Genco Energy Efficiency Grant Call to fund up to 50 per cent of energy efficiency projects by power generation companies over the next five years.
“Gencos can engage their preferred original equipment manufacturers or vendors to conduct the energy efficiency projects,” the three agencies said in a joint press release.
“Gencos are also encouraged to tap on the Genco EE Grant Call early to invest in energy-efficient equipment or technologies to improve their competitiveness and maximise the accrued benefits.”
The manufacturing sector will also benefit from improved EDB and NEA grants.
Under EDB’s Resource Efficiency Grant for Energy and NEA’s Energy Efficiency Fund, funding for energy-efficient technologies will be increased from 30 to 50 per cent of qualifying costs, which include manpower, equipment and technology fees.
Companies that achieve higher reductions will get more funding, while SMEs and companies that make early efforts to be energy efficient may also receive higher grants.
A similar EDB scheme supported 32 energy-efficiency projects from January 2012 to September this year, resulting in an annual carbon abatement of about 158.7 kilo tonnes, the press release said.
NEA’s Energy Efficiency Fund, launched in April last year, also supported eight projects involving technologies like LED lights and high-efficiency air-conditioning systems, resulting in an annual carbon abatement of about 205 tonnes.
“In an increasingly carbon-constrained future, improving energy efficiency will do more than just help companies reduce their costs of production,” Mr Chan said.
“More importantly, this can open up new competitive advantages and business opportunities, both locally and internationally. Our companies will also stand to benefit from a smaller base of carbon emissions and hence lower carbon tax liability.”