Singapore to strengthen regional collaboration in clean electricity and hydrogen trading: Tan See Leng

SINGAPORE – To support Singapore’s transition to renewable energy sources while ensuring energy security and reliability, the nation will be strengthening its regional and international collaboration in clean electricity and hydrogen trading.

In addition, a national standard for renewable energy certificates was launched on Tuesday (Oct 26) to support the use of renewable energy both locally and regionally.

The certificates, which serve as proof of electricity generated by renewable sources, can be purchased by companies to offset their carbon emissions if they are unable to invest in their own solar panels or renewable sources.

Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said on Tuesday at the Asia Clean Energy Summit that these are some of the additional moves that Singapore will be making to meet its growing electricity demand amid a push for clean, renewable resources.

The summit, which is part of the Singapore International Energy Week – a five-day conference on energy issues held in hybrid format at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands – hosted ministers from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Cambodia who provided insights on their strategies to reach their respective renewable energy goals.

To facilitate regional clean electricity trading, Singapore will be expanding its own network of clean energy trading with its regional partners and, in the process, attract global players to the region.

“This will enable the development of a regional power grid, which can accelerate the growth of cross-border electricity trading,” said Dr Tan.

Three electricity import trials with Malaysia, Indonesia and Laos have been announced so far.

These are the Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project to import up to 100megawatts (MW) of hydro power from Laos to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia using existing interconnections between 2022 and 2023; a trial to import 100MW of energy from Malaysia via the existing interconnector; and a pilot project to import solar power from Indonesia.

“The growth of a regional grid presents opportunities across the renewable energy value chain and can leverage our current renewable energy ecosystem,” noted Dr Tan.

For example, on the solar front, Singapore has attracted major solar manufacturers to set up global manufacturing, research and development headquarters here .

One example is REC Solar, which produces high-efficiency silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells. The global company has set up its headquarters in Singapore and plans to expand its cell and module production facility here in the next two to three years.

Under the Asean Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation Phase Two, Asean member states have set a target to achieve a 35 per cent share of renewable energy in Asean’s installed power capacity by 2025, said Dr Tan.

“According to reports, this means that Asean would require approximately 35 to 40 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity to be added by 2025,” he added.

As Singapore is looking to diversify its fuel mix with greener alternatives, low-carbon hydrogen – a fuel that produces no planet-warming carbon dioxide when burnt – is a promising solution.

However, significant improvements are needed in the efficiency and cost of hydrogen technology from production to transport to other downstream applications, said Dr Tan.

To establish global hydrogen supply chains, Singapore is engaging local and international stakeholders to bring down the cost of hydrogen technology and develop global regulatory standards.

For example, in October, Sembcorp Industries announced its partnership with Chiyoda Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation to explore a commercial-scale supply chain to deliver hydrogen to Singapore, said Dr Tan.

In addition, to help companies and institutions switch more effectively to the use of renewable energy, a new standard has been set for renewable energy certificates to give the certificates greater credibility and improve accountability.

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are market-traded instruments which substantiate that electricity has been generated from renewable sources.

One certificate represents one megawatt-hour of electricity which was generated from a renewable energy source, such as solar PVs, and was delivered to the grid.

“While the RECs are not new to Singapore, privately run registries have been operating with their own criteria and procedures for issuing RECs, with varying verification requirements,” Dr Tan noted.

The Singapore Standards 673 on the Code of Practice for RECs launched on Tuesday is a national standard which covers the production, tracking, management and usage of RECs for making renewable energy claims in Singapore, he said.

“We hope that this standardised guideline will not only facilitate a transparent and trustworthy marketplace for RECs in Singapore, but also support the matching of demand for RECs with credible supplies, and facilitate investments in renewable energy across the region.”