Singapore’s energy strategy and opportunities for business

Singapore is one of the leading countries in Asia, as it embarks to provide a great opportunity for business and pursue its vision for energy and environmental technology.

Currently, Singapore is heavily dependent on energy imports, especially imported natural gas. In 2013, Singapore’s imported gas consumption made up 91% of its primary fuel usage. However, by 2020, there will be a saving of 20% in primary fuel usage as the nation begins focusing on the energy efficiency of the country.

Energy efficiency is primarily achieved by installing greening buildings in the country’s urban areas. Via this process, by 2030 the Building Construction Authorities are expected to environmentally certify 80% of the buildings in Singapore. Effective tools such as awareness drives, legislations and incentives are ensuring commercial, industrial and residential establishments are contributing well towards the nation’s energy efficiency goals.

Energy demand and power generation in Singapore

Power consumption in Singapore is growing. Where back in 1987 it was 4088 kWh per capita of electricity power consumption, this figure rapidly doubled by the beginning of the year 2012 to up to 8404 kWh per capita.

Catering to an approximate of 80% of Singapore’s electrical power requirements are 3 prominent companies and their respective gross weight in their provided amounts:

  1. Power Seraya – provides a gross weight of 3.1 GW or 30% towards the country’s energy needs through its multi-equipped platforms.
  2. Senoko Power – gives 2.6 GW via 9 operational units with a combined cycle of natural gas as its primary fuel and crude oil as its secondary fuel.
  3. Tuas Power – gives 2.7 GW that contributes to about 25% of Singapore’s total power supply providing energy solutions, multi-utilities and environmental services.

As per sector data, there was a total of 44,642 kWh of power consumption in the country in 2012, divided as follows:

    • Industry – 40% by companies
    • Commerce and Service – 38% for businesses
    • Household – 16% for domestic usage
    • Transport – 6% usage by personal and public vehicles

Though energy demand in Singapore is projected to continue to grow at a rate of 2.5% per annum, energy consumption will drop with the use of energy efficient measures.

As forecasted, the energy demand in the country will continue to grow at a rate of 2.5% per annum. However, energy consumption is projected to be 80 TWh annually instead of 110 TWH by 2050, with the use of energy efficient measures.

Dependence on imported fossil energy

Singapore had been dependent on imported natural gas from its neighboring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, making up almost 91% of the country’s energy mix.

According to the 2012 survey of Primary Energy Mix, the total energy of 48 TWh consumed in Singapore comprised of:

  • Natural Gas – 91%
  • Petroleum – 5%
  • Waste-to-energy – 3%
  • Others – 1%

As the country’s target is to lower dependency on other countries for its energy needs, the government opened a terminal for the Liquefied Natural Gas in Jurong Island In May 2013.

However, the government is yet to set a target to enlarge the quota of renewable energy. There are challenges in implementing large-scale projects due to a lack of natural resources required for the production of renewable energy. As solar power is adopted, it is expected that by 2020, this source will contribute 5% to the total electricity demand.

As a projected target of energy mix in 2020 a total energy of 57 TWh is to be targeted, and the percentages will be:

  • Natural Gas and Petroleum Products – 95%
  • Renewable Energy – 5%
  • Waste-to-energy – 3%

Transforming energy transmission and distribution

Due to its limitations, the country had been relying on its neighbouring countries for 91% of its fuel. Since Singapore is a small country, its renewable energy sources are smaller compared to its daily energy requirements. In order to tackle this, Singapore’s Energy Policy was created to ensure the stability to power household and energy-dependent industries.

As a part of the Smart Nation Vision, Singapore also aims to guarantee environmental stability and maintain economic competitiveness by reducing emissions and accommodate an intermittent generation source that enables increased adoption of energy efficiency.

This can be done by:

  1. Diversifying energy sources
  2. Strengthening and developing the green economy
  3. Implementing energy efficiency by enhancing infrastructure to boost resilience and guarantee sustainability
  4. Introducing the right energy pricing without direct subsidies

A number of programs have been established to accomplish the energy efficiency drive in Singapore, namely:

  • Energy Market Authority – formed in 2001 and is responsible for the regulation of electricity and gas industries.
  • BCA Green Mark Scheme – established in 2005. Made Singapore’s built up environment more eco-friendly.
  • The Energy Efficient Programme Office – formed in 2007, to pursue energy efficiency improvement in the country’s economy.
  • The National Climate Change Strategy – aims to reduce emission by 7% to 11% by 2020.
  • The Energy Conservation Act – introduced in 2013, to achieve the target of 35% energy improvement by 2030.
  • Building Control Act – allows buildings to comply to Green Mark standard based on energy consumption data
  • Smart Nation Vision – established in 2014. Anticipated grid performance and capacity upgrades have been met.
  • Sustainable Singapore Blueprint – launched in 2015, aims to reduce energy intensity by 20% in 2020, and up to 35% by 2030

Since the government launched the Smart Nation Vision in 2015 to develop the country’s energy supplies and sources, Singapore is on the verge of rapid growth in renewable energy sources by implementing solar installations and increasing generating capacity. The country’s Economic Development Board’s SolarNova Programme aids in providing solar energy to government buildings.

By 2020, it is expected that there will be a 5% peak of electricity demand or an approximate of 350 MWp due to Singapore’s high business and development potential.

For up to date, in-depth knowledge, it would be beneficial to conduct market research to identify specific opportunities and need gaps within Singapore’s energy sector.

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