SIEW 2020 Opening Keynote Address: Singapore's Aspiration to be a Bright Green Spark for the World

Governments and industry leaders must seize the opportunity to transform the energy system for a more sustainable and resilient future. Kit Bun reports

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2020 has been described as a pivotal year for energy transition. The policy decisions that governments and industry players take now will have a long-lasting impact on post-pandemic economic recovery and climate resilience.

Against this backdrop, Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing, highlighted his vision for Singapore to be a Bright Green Spark that inspires urban societies to create a more sustainable, higher quality living environment.

Achieving this would require a three-pronged approach: to (1) Live Green, (2) Power Green, and (3) Design Green Market Structures. Minister Chan highlighted the need to close the energy resource loop much like the way Singapore did for water, such as converting plastics to pyrolysis oil.

When it comes to designing green market structures, he expanded on how Singapore supports multilateral efforts under UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to land a global deal on carbon markets and is working with like-minded countries and partners to build a carbon trading market in Singapore.

Minister Chan also shared several key developments:

  • $49million in grants  to support research, development and demonstration projects in low-carbon energy technologies such as hydrogen and CCUS over the next five years.
  • Two-year trial with Malaysia for 100MW of electricity imports to refine technical and regulatory frameworks for importing electricity into Singapore and facilitate larger-scale imports from the region in the future.
  • Accelerating solar deployments with the Singapore Government taking the lead and working with the private sector to achieve 1.5GWp of solar deployment by 2025.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Singapore and Australia to foster cooperation on low-emissions solutions.
  • Singapore’s first stacked energy storage system on Keppel’s floating living lab through a joint grant between the Energy Market Authority and Keppel Offshore & Marine, awarded to a consortium led by Envision Digital International Pte Ltd.

Minister Chan concluded that the vision to be a Bright Green Spark will not be deterred by the current pandemic, and the importance of investing in the longer term for the post-pandemic world.

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Hon. Angus Taylor MP shared Australia’s plan to reduce carbon emissions and invest more over AU$18 billion (US$12.91 billion) in low emissions technologies across the next 10 years. These would include clean hydrogen, low carbon steel and aluminium and CCUS. He highlighted the importance of ensuring these technologies are cost competitive to encourage adoption and ultimately achieve a low carbon society.

Dr Jochen Eickholt, Member of the Executive Board, Siemens Energy, then took the stage to share his views on low carbon economies and hydrogen.

In a session moderated by Valentin de Miguel, Senior Managing Director and Strategy & Consulting Lead, Growth Markets from Accenture, Dr Eickholt explained how hydrogen can be a game changer in the transition to a more sustainable energy future. This includes increasing hydrogen production, reducing its costs and redesigning infrastructure to incorporate the use of hydrogen.

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