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SPEECH BY MR MASAGOS ZULKIFLI, MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES, AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE ASIA CLEAN ENERGY SUMMIT CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION, 31 OCTOBER 2018

Mr Edwin Khew, Chairman, Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore;

Mr Adnan Amin, Director General, International Renewable Energy Agency;

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

A. Introduction

1. It is a pleasure to be here again at the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES). Two years ago, I was here to launch the world’s largest floating solar photovoltaic (PV) testbed of 1 Megawatt peak at Tengeh Reservoir. Since then, ACES has grown from strength to strength. This year, as many as seven conferences are being hosted and co-located together with ACES. I am glad to see so many thought leaders from the clean energy space gathered here today, and I thank the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) for making this possible.

 B. aDOPTION OF clean energy IS VITAL FOR climate action

2. The strong interest and growing investments in clean energy are timely, as the international community works towards finalising the Paris Agreement Work Programme at the 24th Conference of Parties in Katowice, Poland. As a responsible global citizen, Singapore is doing our part. We have pledged to reduce our emissions intensity in 2030 by 36 per cent from 2005 levels, and to stabilise our emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030.

3. Investing in renewable energy is one of the strategies under our Climate Action Plan. Singapore has an ambitious target to increase our adoption of solar energy to 350 Megawatt peak by 2020, and to 1 Gigawatt peak beyond 2020. We welcome the partnership of all stakeholders as we forge ahead in the global energy transition.

C. positioning singapore as a global hub for clean energy investments

4. Global opportunities in clean energy are growing rapidly, underpinned by this global transition towards a low-carbon future. A study released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) last year showed that the clean energy space is one of the fastest growing sectors in terms of employment and investment. In Southeast Asia, there could be as many as 2.2 million jobs in the clean energy sector by 2030, from around 600,000 in 2016.

5. I am pleased to announce that in Singapore, recent investments in the clean energy space are expected to generate about 1,000 professional jobs and S$180 million in annual business spending in the next five years.

6. Our companies are leveraging new green growth opportunities in our region to innovate and transform. Today, Singapore Power Group (SP) will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JTC Corporation to develop a smart energy grid in Punggol Digital District, home to technology firms in key growth sectors such as digital and cybersecurity. Under this MOU, JTC and SP will drive the design and integration of smart energy solutions in the areas of renewable energy and electric mobility. With the deployment of the smart grid across buildings in the District, we hope to reduce carbon emissions and deliver energy savings.

 7. More clean energy companies are also choosing to invest in Singapore. I am heartened that global utilities such as ENGIE and EDF will be establishing their Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore and embarking on exciting projects. Through its District Cooling Centre of Expertise, ENGIE will support the development of new district cooling projects in Singapore and in the Asia-Pacific region, while EDF is developing microgrid solutions on Semakau Island in partnership with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to serve the Southeast Asian market.

D. singapore’s strong progress in floating solar pv demonstrates leadership in clean energy innovation

8. Singapore is land-scarce, but we have turned this constraint into opportunity by supporting innovative deployment methods for urban solar. In particular, we have made much progress in floating solar PV over the years.

9. PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, has called for studies to explore floating solar PV at four reservoirs, namely Bedok, Lower Seletar, Upper Peirce and a larger-scale 50 Megawatt peak system at Tengeh. Together, these four reservoirs would have a total solar capacity of 60 Megawatt peak and the solar energy generated will help meet PUB’s energy needs and reduce our overall carbon footprint, whilst contributing to our national solar targets.

 10. On this note, I am happy to update that the environmental and preliminary engineering studies at Tengeh Reservoir have been completed. The results show that there will be minimal impact on our environment and water quality, with a floating solar PV system. This 50 Megawatt peak system at Tengeh Reservoir will be the first large-scale floating solar PV system in Singapore and is targeted to be deployed in the next three years. PUB will be calling the tender for the detailed design and deployment in 2019.

 11. We are also seeing very strong interest in renewables from the private sector. To support this, I am pleased to announce the launch of a Request for Information (RFI) for a commercial floating solar PV system at Kranji Reservoir. Led by the Economic Development Board (EDB), the RFI seeks to assess the feasibility of deploying a much larger 100 Megawatt peak floating solar PV system, and to identify a private sector user to consume the solar energy generated from this project. We are mindful of any impact to the surroundings, and the selected company will have to undertake comprehensive environmental studies and consult relevant stakeholders before any decision on implementation is made.

 12. If successful, this project could rival some of the world’s largest floating solar PV systems and anchor Singapore’s position as a global leader in floating solar PV

13. The adoption of floating solar PV is an exciting new area and there is much potential for growth. I am pleased to learn that SERIS has co-authored a first-of-its-kind Guidebook on Floating Solar PV with the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which will be launched later. This Guidebook aims to raise awareness and share information on floating solar PV technology.

14. Singapore will continue to push the boundaries of solar innovation and adoption in Singapore. Beyond our reservoirs, we are also exploring sea-based floating solar PV systems off Singapore’s coast, as well as integrating solar PV into our building facades to maximise generation of solar energy. We are working with SERIS, NTU and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to update the Solar PV Roadmap for Singapore. When completed, this roadmap will provide a blueprint on pathways to achieve higher solar deployment in Singapore in the medium- and long-term.

E. conclusion

15. To conclude, the world is at an unprecedented age of opportunity to transform the way we generate and consume energy. And we must do so, for the sake of our planet.  Singapore is committed to do our part. Through collaboration and innovation, we – government, businesses, investors, and individuals – all play an important role in transforming our energy landscape to pave the way for a low-carbon future. On this note, I wish all of you a fruitful conference. Thank you.

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