Fossil fuel-reliant Singapore optimistic on 2050 decarbonization

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The government of Singapore is confident that it would reach its goal of zero carbon emission by 2050 without compromising energy security or affordability despite its heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

A report by Straits Times on Tuesday quoting The Energy 2050 Committee report of the Energy Market Authority’s (EMA), said that the target can be achieved by importing clean energy into Singapore through regional power grids, developing more infrastructure projects suitable for clean-burning hydrogen to be used as a fuel, and maximizing solar panel systems.

Energy experts also recommended the development of multi-layered grids and shaping end user consumption through demand-side technologies such as smart energy management systems, albeit will require new systems and protocols to ensure reliability and more accurately match customer needs.

Singapore’s electricity grid is largely a single-layered one, where the electricity produced by power generation companies flow into the national grid to households and businesses.

Singapore’s power sector accounts for about 40 percent of the country’s total emissions, while 45 percent comes from the industrial sector, and 14 percent from the land transportation system.

At present, a huge chunk of the Southeast Asian country’s energy source comes from natural gas which produces carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

“The world is now at an inflection point, with the global imperative of addressing climate change driving a shift towards a low-carbon future,” EMA Chairman Richard Lim was quoted as saying.

He said that Singapore is committed towards achieving a global endeavor, adding that the energy industry will play a significant role in the country’s decarbonization efforts.

With Singapore lacking natural resources and other forms of renewable energy sources, Lim said that the decarbonization effort will require a clear-minded balance on the trade-offs across energy security, energy affordability, and environmental sustainability.

Energy 2050 Committee Chairman Choi Shing Kwok, who is also director and chief executive officer of research center ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, said that Singapore’s decarbonization efforts will be complex amid uncertainties over available energy source options.

“Given this, it is not possible to craft a single definitive long-term strategy today. Instead, Singapore will have to stay nimble… to constantly identify forks in the road and make investments at appropriate junctures to be well-positioned for new pathways as they open up,” he noted.

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