SIEW Thinktank Roundtable F: Unlocking the Commercial Opportunities of Decarbonisation

The British Chamber of Commerce Singapore hosted SIEW Thinktank Roundtable F, focusing on the commercial opportunities from a decarbonising world. Kim Jin reports.

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How can businesses continue to thrive and unlock new opportunities in a decarbonising world? Speakers at the SIEW Thinktank Roundtable F, hosted by British Chamber of Commerce Singapore, explored the realities and emerging opportunities of decarbonisation in a thought-provoking session.

The session started with a look at COP26 and how businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions drive and coordinate action on climate change. H.E. Kara Owen, British High Commissioner to Singapore, opened with an overview of the UK’s commitments and efforts in the lead up to COP26 in 2021.

 Here are some of the notable insights shared during the Roundtable:

  • Moderating a panel discussion on COP26, Mr Peter Godfrey, Managing Director of the UK Energy Institute in Singapore, observed that using the World Economic Forum Energy Transition Index (ETI) as an indicator—measuring economic growth, environmental sustainability, energy access, and energy security—more than 80% of the countries have been moving in the right direction and improved their scores since 2015.
  • Mr Stuart Broadley, Chief Executive Officer of Energy Industries Council, is optimistic about the prospects of "decarbonisation as a wealth creator". He also shared that in today's difficult market conditions, 25% of oil and gas companies have been diversifying into renewables, but 75% of oil and gas supply chain companies are diversifying into other sectors. This trend impacts the skills available to bring energy transition to the fore.

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  • In a panel discussion of the options available to reduce emissions and their commercial viability, Mr Lawrence Wu, President and Co-founder of Sunseap Group, shared that bankability issues for ‘green’ projects have not subsided during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, recent trends have accelerated the decentralised models of ‘green’ project financing, which are more complicated than the single off-taker financing model.
  • Asked about what measures can be taken to ensure funding for renewable energy projects, given the potential budget constraints, Ms Audra Low, Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director of Clifford Capital, sees a role for multilateral development agencies to alleviate and "bridge the gap".

Key learning from successful decarbonisation projects 

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Representatives from Sembcorp Energy UK, Shell, British Petroleum, Connected Places Catapult, and the University of Strathclyde Oil and Gas Institute later presented key learnings from their successful decarbonisation projects in the UK and Europe. 

Fielding a question on how elements of Sembcorp’s UK biomass and wind projects could be applicable to ASEAN, Mr Andy Koss, Head of Sembcorp Energy UK said that relevant insights gleaned from the UK projects include complementary peaker plants and battery energy storage systems that maintain system stability. 

In closing, Mr Tim Rockell, Chairman of the Energy & Utilities Business Committee of the British Chamber of Commerce Singapore, emphasised that there is no clear-cut approach across the world. New innovative ideas and decarbonisation solutions have to be developed, supported, and commercialised.

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