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Speech by Mr Albert Chua, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, at the National Energy Efficiency Conference 2019 Opening Ceremony at Max Atria @ Singapore Expo, 3 Oct 2019

Er Lee Chuan Seng

Chairman, National Environment Agency

 

Mr Ronnie Tay

Deputy President, Singapore Institute of Technology

 

Distinguished Guests

 

1 Good morning. I am happy to join you to recognise the outstanding achievements in energy management by several organisations and individuals.  The industry plays an important part in our efforts to fight climate change.

 

TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE

 

2 At this year’s National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that “climate change is one of the gravest challenges facing humankind”. During his address to the United Nations General Assembly, PM Lee also highlighted that “Singapore is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels, but will also suffer from its other effects, such as new diseases, more extreme weather events, food shortages, forced migration or even wars.”

3 These problems will worsen unless we significantly cut global carbon emissions. This requires individual and collective action, nationally and globally.  By international standards, Singapore is a very small emitter, but we are committed to do our full share to fight climate change.  Our Paris climate pledge to reduce emissions intensity by 36% in 2030 from 2005 levels, hinges on our ability to transform to a low-carbon and energy-efficient economy. 

 

IMPORTANCE OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY

 

4 The industry sector is an important pillar of our economy, and accounts for 60% of carbon emissions.  It sets the bar on energy efficiency or EE improvements for the rest of our economy.  The industry’s EE efforts, some of which are being recognised today, will not just lower emissions, but give manufacturing companies a leading edge in the low-carbon economy.

5 We have made good progress to improve industrial EE since 2012, when we introduced the Energy Conservation Act.  The EE improvement rate of energy-intensive industrial companies has increased from 0.4% per year in 2014 to 1.4% in 2018.  Collectively, these efforts have resulted in $370 mil of energy savings.  We must continue to sustain this rate of improvement in the years ahead.

6 The government is well aware that companies have to balance many competing business costs, energy being one of them.  We want to help companies in their low-carbon transition. At the start of this year, the National Environment Agency or NEA enhanced the Energy Efficiency Fund or E2F, to increase the level of support for EE projects from 30% to 50%. We have seen an encouraging response, especially from SMEs – about $400,000 in co-funding support has been awarded to SMEs to implement EE projects.  I encourage more companies to make full use of the E2F to improve your operations and energy performance.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Energy Efficiency Technology Centre

7 As part of our continued efforts to build up the EE eco-system in Singapore, we will need to create a pipeline of capable and well-trained EE engineers. 

8 I am pleased to announce that the government will invest $5 mil to set up an “Energy Efficiency Technology Centre” or EETC.  The EETC will be hosted by the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and supported by NEA.  The EETC will:

  1. train new students and upskill existing engineers in the area of industrial EE; and
  2. provide SMEs with greater access to energy services for EE improvements in their facilities.

9 The EETC is a partnership between government, academia and industry, to build up EE capabilities in Singapore.  Companies can send their staff to EETC for training or engage energy audit services provided by the Centre. Individuals who enrol in EETC programmes have hands-on opportunities to work on concrete EE projects for companies, which contribute to building up their competencies.

10 Through the EETC programmes, aspiring engineers and energy managers can qualify to become certified Energy Efficiency Opportunity Assessors (EEOA) and Chartered Engineers.

Energy Management Information System Grant

11 I am also happy to announce that NEA is planning to launch a new grant for Energy Management Information Systems or EMIS, under the Energy Efficiency Fund.  The new grant will support industrial companies to enhance and digitalise the way they monitor their energy performance.  This helps companies to visualise and track real-time energy consumption, down to the equipment level.  It enables fast and accurate detection of energy wastage, and better insight into potential EE opportunities. 

12 NEA will release more details of the grant soon.

 

Energy Efficiency National partnership (EENP) Awards 2019

 

13 Today, nine companies, an energy manager and two public sector agencies will receive Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) Awards for their commitment and outstanding achievements. Let me highlight two examples.

14 HP Singapore is the first site in HP’s global network to obtain the ISO50001 energy management system certification. It has set an internal target to reduce its carbon emissions by 25% by 2025 from 2015 levels.  HP has imbued a culture of resource sustainability within the organisation, and with its supply chain partners. Recently, 1,200 staff of HP Singapore and its contractors participated in the HP Singapore Annual Environmental Health and Safety Exhibition, and made their pledge to reduce carbon emissions, water usage, and waste production.  HP will be receiving the Excellence in Energy Management Award.

15 The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)’s Home Team Academy is the first public sector building to achieve Green Mark Platinum (Super Low Energy) certification.  The Academy implemented measures to reduce its energy consumption by 30% from 2013 levels. Among its notable measures is the installation of chiller plants that use low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant. By switching to low GWP refrigerant, the Academy reduced the equivalent of 3 kilo tonnes of carbon emissions.

16 Setting clear sustainability goals and targets, and creating a culture of sustainability within their organisations are common traits among past and present award recipients.

17 My congratulations to HP Singapore, MHA’s Home Team Academy, and all EENP Awards recipients. Several award recipients will be sharing their success stories and best practices later.

 

CONCLUSION

 

18 I hope you will find the conference programme beneficial. No effort is too small in tackling climate change. Collectively, we can make Singapore a more liveable and sustainable home. This will also contribute to the global fight against climate change.

19 Thank you and I wish you a fruitful day ahead.

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