1. Will Singapore depend more on solar energy for its energy needs?
Solar energy is the most promising renewable energy source for electricity generation for our country. Solar energy is clean, generates no emissions, and contributes to Singapore’s energy security. The Energy Market Authority (EMA) has been taking proactive steps to facilitate its deployment, while ensuring that power grid stability is maintained. The rules have also been eased so that solar installations can be connected to the power grid faster, from 27 days to seven days.
There are, however, some challenges to deploying solar on a large scale in Singapore, including land constraints and local weather conditions. To prepare for a future when solar energy could form a more significant portion of our energy mix, EMA has started investing in R&D areas such as solar forecasting and in particular energy storage. At the same time, the Government has, through the SolarNova initiative, provided a critical mass to help catalyse growth of the local solar PV industry. Singapore’s installed solar capacity was 203 MWp in 2018, and we aim to increase this to 350 MWp by 2020, and 1 GWp beyond 2020,equivalent to powering about 210,000 4-room HDB dwellings.
Singapore is also putting in place plans to reach one gigawatt-peak solar deployment after 2020. For example, in 2018, PUB and EDB unveiled plans for large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to advance growth and adoption of solar energy in Singapore. This includes deploying floating solar of 50 megawatt-peak on Tengeh Reservoir, and one of the world’s largest sea-based offshore floating solar test-beds of 5 megawatt-peak north of Woodlands Waterfront Park.
2. Where can I find out more information on tapping on solar energy?
Singapore Power’s website provides guides on how you can tap on solar energy as a residential or non-residential user. More information on solar photovoltaic systems can be found on EMA’s website.
3. Is Singapore considering nuclear energy?
A pre-feasibility study on nuclear energy conducted from 2010 to 2012 concluded that nuclear energy technologies presently available are not yet suitable for deployment in Singapore. Newer nuclear power plant designs that are being developed and tested have the potential to be much safer than many of the plants that are in operation today. However, the risks to Singapore, given that it is a small and dense city-state, still outweigh the benefits at this point.
We will however continue to strengthen our capabilities to understand nuclear science and technology by supporting research in relevant areas of nuclear science and engineering, and training a pool of scientists and experts through education programmes in local and overseas universities. This will enable us to further assess the implications of evolving nuclear energy technologies, and regional nuclear energy developments for Singapore.