Singapore to grant first conditional approval for proposals to import low-carbon electricity 'soon'
More than 20 proposals have been received under the Energy Market Authority’s requests for proposals, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng.
SINGAPORE: Singapore expects to grant its first conditional approval for proposals to import low-carbon electricity “soon”, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng on Tuesday (Feb 28).
More than 20 proposals have been received under the Energy Market Authority’s (EMA) requests for proposals issued in 2021 and 2022. These are part of Singapore’s plans to import up to 4 gigawatts of low-carbon electricity by 2035.
Speaking at his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate, Dr Tan said several companies have submitted their final proposals for large-scale electricity imports from various countries over the last two weeks.
“Projects which received support from the source countries and meet our requirements will receive EMA’s conditional approval,” he told the House. “We expect to grant the first conditional approval soon.”
Dr Tan noted that EMA is conducting small-scale trials to prepare for large-scale imports.
These include the Lao PDR-Thailand- Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project which started in June last year, as well as a joint agreement between YTL PowerSeraya and TNB Genco to export 100 megawatts of electricity from Malaysia to Singapore.
As part of developing new energy supply sources for Singapore, authorities have announced a National Hydrogen Strategy which sets out plans to develop hydrogen as a “major decarbonisation pathway” for the local power and industry sectors, as well as support Singapore’s commitment to achieve net-zero by 2050.
Hydrogen can be imported from various sources around the world and help to enhance Singapore’s energy security. It can also be a potential alternative to fossil fuels in the maritime and aviation sectors, said Dr Tan.
A key part of the country’s strategy is to experiment with the use of advanced hydrogen technologies.
EMA and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore have launched an expression of interest for the use of ammonia for power generation and support maritime bunkering needs. This has since received “strong interest” from industry players, as well as international partners, Dr Tan said.
The Government is also hoping to tap more clean energy from the sun, such as by deploying solar storage systems to store and dispense intermittent solar power at different times to maintain grid reliability.
Singapore has deployed around 800 megawatt-peak of solar power as of last year, compared to around 500 megawatt-peak in mid-2021.
“As of the first half of last year, Singapore is already one of the most solar dense cities in the world,” said Dr Tan, while adding that the country is on track to achieving its solar panel deployment target of at least 2 gigawatt-peak by 2030.
Dr Tan also pointed to the launch of a 285-megawatt hour energy storage system on Jurong Island earlier this month. This will meet the electricity needs of around 24,000 households in four-room flats for one day in a single discharge.
Lastly, authorities are exploring the suitability of other forms of low-carbon energy supply, such as nuclear and geothermal.
STRENGTHEN LOCAL ENERGY MARKET
Dr Tan said the global energy market will be turbulent in the coming years due to geopolitics and climate action.
Drawing lessons from the country’s recent energy crisis – marked by a spate of sudden retailer exits in late 2021 – authorities will update its regulatory approach to strengthen the foundations of Singapore’s energy market, he added.
First, the Government will call for competitive tenders for new generation capacity and build required new capacity if there is insufficient interest from private generation companies. This will help to ensure sufficient power generation capacity to serve demand.
Second, the standby fuel facilities set up by the EMA as part of measures during the recent energy crisis will be institutionalised as a permanent feature. The Government is also exploring ways to centrally aggregate gas procurement to obtain more secure and longer-term contracts.
Lastly, EMA intends to enhance the regulatory requirements on electricity retailers so as to strengthen consumer protection and ensure that electricity retailers are sufficiently resilient against market volatility.
Having released a consultation paper earlier this month, the authority is seeking feedback on the proposed enhancements and plans to announce the final changes later in the year.