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Singapore sets solar energy target for 2030 that would provide enough power for 350,000 homes

Singapore sets solar energy target for 2030 that would provide enough power for 350,000 homes

File photo of solar panels. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Singapore has a new target for solar energy which aims to produce enough power by 2030 to meet the annual needs of about 350,000 households. 

This represents 4 per cent of Singapore’s total electricity demand today. Presently, solar energy makes up less than 1 per cent of Singapore’s energy demand.

Speaking at Singapore International Energy Week 2019 on Tuesday (Oct 29), Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said Singapore is currently on track to meet its previous solar target of 350 megawatt-peak (MWP) by 2020. The new target would build on that to provide at least 2 gigawatt-peak (GWp) of power.

Noting that grid-connected solar installations have increased from 30 units to more than 3000, he stressed that Singapore’s vertical space should be leveraged to grow solar power. 

“If we can imagine, every of our high-rise buildings, the walls and even the windows can become a solar collector," he said. 

"This will fundamentally change how much solar energy Singapore can collect."

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Mr Chan also announced that the Energy Market Authority (EMA) is aiming to deploy 200 megawatts (MW) of energy storage systems (ESS) beyond 2025.

“If we have sufficient energy storage systems, this will help us shave off the difference between peak demand within the daily cycle,” said Mr Chan. 

“In order to cater to the peak demand, much resources will be required to build the extra infrastructure capacity. But if we can use energy storage solutions to balance the peak and trough demand, that will save the infrastructure costs for us.” 

ESS adoption is still low, with less than 1 MW currently installed, said EMA in a separate release. EMA will be partnering with the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) to develop a new hybrid ESS, which combines lithium iron phosphate and lithium iron manganese phosphate batteries with capacitors. 

“If successful, the project will produce a new ESS that is safer and more suited for our hot and humid conditions,” said the EMA release. 

To meet the new solar power target, the government will also be scaling up the SolarNova programme, said the release. By 2020, one in two HDB rooftops will have solar panels, and solar panels will also be deployed on the rooftops of public sector buildings.

EMA also noted that the Government will take the lead to maximise solar deployment on the rooftops of private industrial and commercial buildings. 

“We will reach out to major private developers and industry players to co-create solutions, to drive solar deployment on private sector rooftops,” said EMA. 

EMA also said the government will be developing building-integrated photovoltaics (PV), to “develop and bring down the costs of innovative solar applications”. 

Building-integrated PV refers to replacing the materials of building facades and vertical faces such as noise barriers and fences to generate solar energy. 

PUB will also be increasing the deployment of floating solar panels on reservoirs, while “minimising the impact on biodiversity and use of reservoir space for recreational activities”, said the release. 

In June, PUB announced that it intends to deploy a 50 megawatt-peak (MWp) floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system on Tengeh Reservoir by 2021. According to PUB, the floating system will eliminate the need to emit 28,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year that it is in operation - the equivalent to removing 6,000 cars off Singapore's roads.

When installed, it will be Singapore’s first single large-scale floating solar PV system, and one of the largest of its kind in the world. PUB first tested the systems at Tengeh Reservoir in 2016.

Source: CNA/ic(rw)


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