Solar panels on Southeast Asia's first zero energy building in Singapore. (File photo: TODAY) -
SINGAPORE: Singapore is more than halfway to its solar power deployment target of at least 2,000 megawatt-peak by 2030, said Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu on Wednesday (Jan 10).
The country has doubled its solar power deployment since 2021 to over 1,000 megawatt-peak currently, she added.
The minister gave the updated figures in parliament in response to questions on Singapore's progress in transitioning towards renewable energy.
During the UN Climate Change Conference 2023 (COP28), Singapore co-facilitated negotiations on mitigation and the first global stocktake that contributed to the successful adoption of the UAE Consensus, which calls on countries to transition away from fossil fuels, said Ms Fu.
The UAE Consensus also calls on countries to triple renewable energy and double energy efficiency globally by 2030.
At the conference, Singapore signed the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency pledge.
"Singapore supports the UAE Consensus. As part of our long-term low-emissions development strategy, Singapore has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, despite being a small, alternative energy disadvantaged city-state with many natural limitations on our climate action measures," said the minister.
The country has been accelerating its energy transition, with solar energy as one of its key pushes.
Solar energy is one of the four "switches" that Singapore is deploying to achieve its net-zero target by 2050. The other three are natural gas, regional power grids and low-carbon alternatives.
Solar energy will eventually allow Singapore to meet about 10 per cent of its projected electricity demand in 2050, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) said in November last year.
The country is on track to meet the 1,500 megawatt-peak goal of solar deployment by 2025.
According to EMA's Singapore Energy Statistics 2023 report, the private sector has been the driving force behind the growth in solar deployment, accounting for 63.5 per cent of the total installed capacity.
Apart from solar energy, Singapore is working towards importing low-carbon electricity from the region.
In their supplementary questions, Members of Parliament asked about timelines and net-zero strategies moving forward.
MP Liang Eng Hwa (PAP-Bukit Panjang) asked if Ms Fu was satisfied with the overall outcome of COP28 and if Singapore's position on nuclear energy has changed following other countries' call to triple the world's nuclear energy capacity by 2050.
Answering Mr Liang's first question, Ms Fu noted several improvements and movements in negotiations.
With the global stocktake, there was a "louder" and "more concerted call" to accelerate action in this decade due to climate projections that indicate the world needs to do more in the near term, said Ms Fu.
It is no longer about setting net-zero targets but charting a pathway to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, said Ms Fu, adding that there were "very specific recommendations and agreements".
"And there are many other details, it's a very extensive and comprehensive process ... It deserves a much more extensive discussion."
On nuclear energy, the government has not changed its position. It has yet to make a decision on adopting nuclear energy as a potential source of renewable energy, but is instead keeping tabs on how the technology develops.
"We think the advanced nuclear technology offers us some potential. In terms of safety, there's better safety in these technologies and also in terms of cost competitiveness, these are very ... important decision metrics that feed into our energy decision," said the minister.
"So we have not made a decision on adopting nuclear energy, but we are building capabilities to understand how this technology is advancing and also how these technologies can potentially be of help to Singapore."//CNA-VOI