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  • Writer's pictureMark Perry

Snapshot: Singapore’s Climate and Energy Policies

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

In recent years Singapore has increased its focus on climate and green transition. The development and increased level of ambition is tied to several Government led strategic analyses establishing Singapore’s climate vulnerability.

Singapore’s overall strategy is to take significant steps towards reducing CO2 emissions while keeping in mind economic considerations as reduced emissions by Singapore alone won’t prevent climate changes - Singapore’s CO2 emissions only constitute 0.1% of global emissions. With reference to the Paris Agreement, the target is to reduce emissions by 36% by 2030 from Singapore’s 2005 levels.

Unlike many other countries, Singapore relies heavily on imported fuels – more than 90 per cent of electricity here comes from burning natural gas, largely imported from Indonesia and Malaysia.

This heightens Singapore’s need to optimise energy use and pursue efficiency. Singapore's energy system is small and compact, making it especially susceptible to demand and supply fluctuations. This can add to the challenge of balancing electricity needs in real-time. Moving to an intelligent energy system addresses these unique issues. Deploying advanced sensors, predictive data analytics and AI would boost the efficiency of power plants, smooth out demand and supply for a more flexible system.

At the upstream level, Singapore completed the building of its fourth liquefied natural gas storage tank two years ago to ensure continuous energy supply.

Recognised as an ’alternative energy-disadvantaged’ country under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, solar energy is Singapore’s most viable renewable option as there is no potential for harnessing any other type of renewable energy. Facing a lack of fossil energy resources and a limited availability of renewable energy, Singapore’s energy policies are founded in considerations towards energy & grid stability.

Today, solar energy accounts for 1% of Singapore’s energy needs with an estimated 4% upper limit of solar in the energy mix. In October 2019, Minister of Environment, Masagos Zulkifli, announced that roof-top solar installations on Singapore’s public housing estates in combination with 200 MWp of energy storage will provide clean energy for 350.000 households by 2030.

As solar source is highly weather-dependent, the deployment of digital technologies such as advanced batteries and data analytics are essential to temper that intermittency and keep power supply reliable. Digitalisation is thus key to enabling Singapore to fully exploit its solar potential for renewable energy.

Singapore introduced its Carbon Pricing Act from January 1st 2019

Any industrial facility that emits direct GHG equal to or above 25,000 tCO2e annually will be required to be registered as a taxable facility and to submit a Monitoring Plan and an Emissions Report annually.

The carbon tax will be levied on 30 to 40 large emitters that contribute 80 per cent of Singapore’s greenhouse gas emissions. These large emitters are mainly from the petroleum refining, chemicals and semiconductor sectors, with each emitter producing more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gases a year. From 2019 to 2023 the tax amounts to SGD $5 per tonne. Towards 2030 the tax will increase to SGD $ 10-15 per tonne.

To a certain extent, Singapore draws reference from climate policies in the EU and Nordic solutions – in particular - serve as inspiration in the transition towards the new climate reality. This is especially the case within Water, Waste Management, and Energy Efficiency.


Get in touch for more information about business opportunities in Singapore:

Mark Edward Perry

Trade Advisor at Royal Danish Embassy Singapore

Phone: +65 9088 5567



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