Committee of Supply Debate 2010: Ministry of Trade and Industry

March 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Insights

Mr S Iswaran, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, gave his speech during the Committee of Supply Debate under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). The speech addresses questions related to Singapore’s energy policy, and can be downloaded from the MTI website.

Here are some key points that he raised:

Our goal is to make Singapore a Smart Energy Economy with an energy ecosystem that is secure, sustainable and competitive. Our strategy to meet the global energy challenges rests on two key thrusts: diversification and competitive energy markets.

The Government agrees with the Economic Strategies Committee’s (ESC) recommendation to adopt a portfolio approach towards energy – in other words, no one energy option will be adequate to meet our varied energy objectives.

We will adopt a pragmatic approach by evaluating the alternatives on the basis of energy security, economic viability and environmental sustainability.

Among the renewable energy sources currently available, solar is one of the most promising in our context for electricity generation. While still relatively expensive today, solar energy prices could achieve grid parity in the medium term.

… why are we prepared to study nuclear energy as an option now. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, it can potentially enhance energy security, reduce carbon emissions, and mitigate the impact of volatile oil and gas prices – thus it could meet, potentially all our objectives embedded in the national energy policy.

The aim is to ensure that we fully understand, and objectively evaluate from all perspectives, the opportunities, challenges and risks involved with nuclear energy. The study will commence later this year. It will entail a careful, deliberate and rigorous examination of the technical, economic and safety aspects of nuclear energy.

Clean coal could be a component of our energy diversification strategy. Currently, coal makes up more than 40 per cent of global power generation. And, it is expected to remain at this level until at least 2030 given the relative abundance of coal sources in the world. Coal also has a cost advantage though this may be eroded by any future global carbon pricing regime. However, combustion technology is evolving, making coal cleaner than before and we must, therefore, keep this option open.

We are price-takers in the global energy market because we are small and import almost all our energy requirements. We therefore must allow the full cost of energy to be reflected in prices. Subsidising energy would be encouraging wasteful consumption and it will also be a drain on public finances.

Source: MTI

Committee of Supply Debate 2010: Ministry of National Development

March 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Insights

Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State for National Development gave her speech during the Committee of Supply Debate under the Ministry of National Development (MND). The speech addresses policies related to green buildings in Singapore:

Greening Our Buildings

19 Mr Cedric Foo has asked how HDB estates can be more sustainable. Our existing HDB estates have designs which facilitate cross-ventilation and natural lighting. For new estates, we will continue to incorporate environmentally friendly features and green technologies. For example, HDB is pushing forward the installation of solar photovoltaic panels (PV) at four precincts at Tampines, Bukit Panjang, Tanjong Pagar and Marine Parade.

20 HDB, together with Town Councils, also aims to reduce the energy consumption of common areas in new and existing HDB estates by 20% and 30% respectively. This is done by introducing features such as energy efficient light fittings and lift systems.

22 Our sustainable development efforts must extend beyond our public housing estates. In April 2009, the Government released Sustainable Singapore Blueprint which outlined our efforts to improve our overall energy efficiency by 35% from 2005 levels by 2030. All sectors, including the building sector will need to play their part towards meeting this target.

Raising Minimum Standards for New Buildings

23 By the end of this year, we will raise the mandatory minimum energy efficiency standard for Green Mark certified level for new buildings by 10% from today’s standard. Correspondingly, the energy efficiency standards for other Green Mark levels, i.e. Gold, GoldPlus, and Platinum will be raised. Building owners can enjoy cost savings in the long run by being more energy efficient.

Mandatory Submission of Energy Data

24 To better understand energy consumption patterns, and to monitor the effectiveness of our energy efficiency measures, BCA will require building owners and utilities companies to submit energy and other building related data such as Gross Floor Area (GFA) and specifications of building systems on an annual basis starting from 2011. Building owners can also use the information to pro-actively improve their buildings’ energy efficiency.

25 Going forward, BCA will consult the industry on the possibility of mandating a minimum energy efficiency standard for existing buildings.

Source: MND