Address by Guest-Of-Honour, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr S Iswaran, for Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES) Opening Ceremony
Mr Edwin Khew,
Chairman, Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning. It gives me great pleasure to join you this morning for the opening of the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES) 2015, a key partner event of the Singapore International Energy Week. Now in its second year, I am pleased to see ACES growing from strength to strength with increased interest from regional business leaders, policy makers, financiers and researchers.
Clean Energy Solutions will become even more important in a carbon-constrained world
Decision makers will gather in Paris later this year in December to negotiate a post-2020 climate agreement. Regardless of the outcome, many countries and cities are already planning their economic growth within an increasingly carbon-constrained operating environment, with clean energy viewed as a key solution to reduce pollution and mitigate climate change. Renewable energy has also become attractive in many jurisdictions due to its growing cost competitiveness and its contributions to enhancing energy security. Closer to home, the haze that has affected several countries in Southeast Asia has further reinforced the need for sustainable development.
For these and other reasons, renewable energy continues its strong growth around the world. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2014, renewables accounted for 128 gigawatts (GW), or nearly half, of all new energy generating capacity in the world.
Asia is now at the centre of global clean energy growth, driven by the region’s robust energy demand, which is expected to more than double by 2035, and the desire for sustainable growth. China recently raised its solar deployment ambitions to 150 GW by 2020, and India has announced its target to install 100 GW of solar by 2022. We are also seeing a growing renewables market in Southeast Asia. For instance, Conergy, a German solar system integration company with a regional base in Singapore, recently secured over 200 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar projects in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Singapore as the leading Cleantech Hub in Asia
Singapore aims to contribute to Asia’s clean energy journey, and play our part in addressing climate change. Singapore has become an attractive location for international Clean Technology (or Cleantech in short) companies to develop key capabilities and serve markets in the region. This is due to Singapore’s significant investments in research and development (R&D), our strong engineering and project development capabilities, as well as good market connectivity.
Notably, the Economic Development Board (EDB) has recently secured a number of new investments across the fields of solar, fuel cells, smart grids and testing services in Singapore. These projects will collectively create over 100 professional jobs and S$150 million in cumulative business spending over the next five years.
- Gräss (pronounced as “Gre-as”) Energy, a leading solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company from Germany, is establishing its global Headquarters in Singapore in a joint venture with SBI, a local marine company.
- Intelligent Energy, a leading fuel cells company from the UK, is opening its global supply chain office here.
- Accenture will launch its Smart Grid Services team, which will lead the development of global micro-grid solutions architecture.
- Omnetric, a joint venture company between Siemens (pronounced as “Zee-mens”) and Accenture, will establish a consultancy and incubation team to provide smart grid solutions.
- And last but not least, DNV GL will launch its Test Centre for Substation Automation, the first its kind in Asia, to test new network technology innovations.
These investments are a strong vote of confidence in Singapore’s role as an effective Cleantech hub, with an emphasis on innovation, project development, and financing activities.
Singapore is a living lab for innovative energy technologies to serve both economic development and national needs
Singapore has committed significant resources since 2007 to R&D in clean energy solutions. For instance, we have established dedicated energy research centres and funded R&D activities through the Energy Innovation Programme Office and the Energy National Innovation Challenge. And, we are not stopping there. To address the needs of a more sophisticated energy industry, we are pioneering new innovation models through public-private partnerships, and living lab platforms where new innovations can be demonstrated and commercialised before being scaled-up for regional markets.
A good example is the S$30 million Singapore Power Energy Advanced Research and Development or SPEAR programme through which Singapore Power (SP) and EDB will co-innovate with companies to increase the resiliency of our national grid. Since its launch earlier this year, the SPEAR programme has attracted 42 proposals from leading industry players in the areas of grid communications, data analytics and smart energy management. I am pleased to share that 3M and Omnetric, who will be SP’s first innovation partners under SPEAR, will be signing MOUs with SP later this morning.
Singapore has also established micro-grid demonstration platforms on two islands, Pulau Ubin and Pulau Semakau, to provide a test-bed environment for companies. The Pulau Ubin micro-grid project and the Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator – Singapore (or REIDS) project on Pulau Semakau will integrate and test renewable energy and energy storage on micro-grids. Demand for such solutions is growing in Southeast Asia where many towns and villages are not connected to the main grid, and can therefore benefit from micro-grid systems.
Singapore facilitates greater adoption of clean energy through international collaborations
Beyond our local innovation efforts, Singapore aims to contribute to and learn from the international community through ongoing efforts to establish collaborations in the region. For example, the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and IE Singapore will jointly launch the Sustainable Energy Centre of Excellence (SECOE) to drive thought leadership and deliver training programmes for sustainable energy in the region. The programmes aim to equip regional policy makers with capabilities in disciplines such as energy efficiency, renewable energy financing and energy access in rural areas. The Centre will also provide a platform for sharing of experiences and networking, as well as help to connect Cleantech companies in Singapore to projects in the region.
In closing, I would like to extend my appreciation to SEAS for organising ACES 2015. As a leading clean energy event in Asia, ACES brings decision makers and thought leaders together to debate issues and focus on being future-ready. We need to work together to realise the potential of clean energy in our region. I hope all of you will benefit from the learning and networking opportunities at ACES over these two days. On this note, I wish SEAS every success as they continue to bring ACES to greater heights in the years to come.
 IEA World Energy Outlook Special Report. Energy and Climate Change. 2015
 U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). China and India account for half of global energy growth through 2035. September 2011.
 PV Magazine. China aims for 150 GW of solar PV by 2020. October 2015.
 Cleantechnica.com. India Eyes 100 GW Solar Power Capacity By 2022.
 PV Magazine. Conergy to build Indonesia’s first utility-scale PV plant; announces 62 MW Philippines project. October 2015.