Opening Remarks By Mr Masagos Zulkifli,
Minister For The Environment And Water Resources, At The Launch Of Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s Solar Roof ‘Switch-On’ Ceremony, 22 May 2019
Mr Achal Agarwal, President
of Kimberly-Clark Asia Pacific
Syptak-Ramnath, Chargé d’Affaires, United States Embassy Singapore
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. Good morning. It gives me
great pleasure to be here for the launch of Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s solar
roof. I understand this solar roof will be one of the largest for a manufacturing
plant in Singapore. It will replace up to 15 per cent of conventional energy
used at the plant, and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about 1,600
metric tons per year.
2. I commend Kimberly-Clark
Corporation for taking this major step towards renewable energy. Businesses and
industries are among our largest carbon emitters. You can have a substantial
impact on mitigating global warming and climate change, when you make the
transition to environmentally-sustainable operations.
Moving toward solar
3. Solar energy is
Singapore’s most promising renewable energy source. We have an ambitious target
to install 350 Megawatt peak (MWp) of solar capacity by 2020, and 1 Gigawatt
peak (GWp) beyond 2020. This will go towards helping us achieve our pledge
under the Paris Agreement, to reduce emissions intensity by 36 per cent from
2005 levels by 2030, and stabilise emissions with the aim of peaking around
4. We have been taking active
steps to promote solar deployment in Singapore. The SolarNova Programme, which
aggregates solar energy demand across all public sector bodies, is one such
initiative. The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is currently the largest
stakeholder in the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Singapore,
with a solar PV capacity of 230 MWp. The solar energy harnessed is used to
power common services in the HDB estates like lifts, lighting in common areas
5. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has
reported that in 2018, 171 Gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity was
added globally. More than half of this – 94 GW – came from solar installations.
This is an encouraging trend.
6. However, challenges remain. For one, solar energy is
intermittent, and affected by environmental factors such as changing weather
and cloud cover. There is a need to ensure the stability of our grid as we
integrate more solar into our energy landscape. In Singapore, we are developing
system-level solutions such as solar output forecasting, advanced energy
management systems and energy storage. We are also investing in energy
research, development and deployment (RD&D) to develop cost-competitive
solutions that can be deployed to support the growth of our clean energy
7. Another challenge is that
solar infrastructure requires a huge land area. Singapore has come up with
creative solutions to overcome our space constraints, by utilising our
reservoirs. We are studying the deployment of floating solar photovoltaic
systems at five of our reservoirs. Together, these systems potentially have the
capacity to power 40,000 four-room HDB households a year – about half the size
of Tampines town. These efforts will enhance Singapore’s energy resilience and
8. Let me conclude. Effective mitigation of climate change
will require the efforts of not just government, but also businesses and the community.
If we can rely more on renewable energy sources, we will reduce our carbon
emissions, and potentially reduce costs for enterprises as well. In other
words, it is possible to “do good” and “do well” at the same time.
9. I am heartened by the significant stride that Kimberly-Clark
Corporation is making today, and I encourage more companies to emulate such
good practices and invest in environmentally-sustainable operations.
you, and I look forward to our discussion later.