Now is the appropriate time to engage on the Cross Island Line

May 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Insights

“Public engagement should start from the point of policy design, and continue even as we implement these policies. At the policy design stage, engaging the public allows us to forge a shared mutual understanding with those who are impacted by these policies. By consulting various stakeholders, policymakers can better take into account their different perspectives and concerns.” – DPM Teo Chee Hean

The doctor says he is going to cut your loved one’s heart. You ask him if there’s a need to do so, how he is going to cut, whether there’s any risks and potential dangers, and if an independent assessment is going to be made. His reply is that he would tell you at an appropriate time. How would you feel? Naturally, you would be worried and want to know what’s happening and whether it’s the right thing to do.

Similarly, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced plans to build the Cross Island Line (CRL), a MRT line that would cut across the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR), which is known as Singapore’s Green Heart. Nature Society and concerned individuals are asking LTA on the environmental impacts of the line crossing the legally protected Nature Reserve, and if an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would be conducted. LTA says it would conduct an EIA but did not mention when, and adds that it would engage Nature Society at an “appropriate time“. How would you feel?

Route-of-LTAs-proposed-Cross-Island-Line-CRL-through-the-Central-Catchment-Nature-Reserve-by-habitatnews

The appropriate time to engage is NOW. In fact, the most appropriate time for LTA to engage stakeholders is before the announcement of the plan for the CRL to cross CCNR. Unfortunately, LTA did not do so.

As the CRL cuts through the CCNR, which is a sensitive habitat and legally protected Nature Reserve, it is important for LTA to be more proactive and transparent in communicating its actions on this issue. Interested groups should be engaged at this stage before any feasibility and EIA studies are conducted, so as to avoid unnecessary second-guessing and worrying about the impacts.

NOW is the time for LTA to engage Nature Society and interested individuals and groups. Share your plans for the CRL and the EIA. Share, Explain, and Engage Now. Not at an appropriate time.

What Can You Do?

You can send an email to LTA CEO, Mr Chew Hock Yong, at hock_yong_chew@lta.gov.sg and remind him politely that now is the appropriate time to engage stakeholders on the CRL, and ask him to set a date to engage the stakeholders before the feasibility and EIA studies are conducted.

What we need is not an appropriate time, but an exact date and time.

“In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy.” – John C. Sawhill

Image credit: Route of LTAs proposed Cross Island Line (CRL) through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve by habitatnews, via Flickr

Overview of the Energy Situation in Singapore

May 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

This is an overview of the energy situation in Singapore in terms of Electricity Consumption; Energy Consumption; Energy Intensity; Discrepancy Between Energy Statistics; and Energy Efficiency Policies.

1. Electricity Consumption

According to the National Energy Policy Report, the power generation sector accounts for 51% of the fuel consumption in Singapore and the fuel is used to generate electricity for the following sectors (in 2005):

energy-by-sector

There are currently eight electricity generation licensees operating in Singapore, regulated by the Energy Market Authority:

  • Senoko Power Ltd (3300 MW)
  • PowerSeraya Ltd (3100 MW)
  • Tuas Power Ltd (2670 MW)
  • Keppel Merlimau Cogen Pte Ltd (1400 MW)
  • Sembcorp Cogen Pte Ltd (785 MW)
  • National Environment Agency (251 MW; electricity from incineration plants)
  • Island Power Company Pte Ltd (not in operation yet)
  • Keppel Seghers Tuas Waste-to-Energy Plant Pte Ltd (not in operation yet)

Singapore’s total electricity consumption and electricity consumption per capita from 1990 to 2007 is shown in the graph below, based on statistics from the Energy Market Authority and the Singapore Department of Statistics.

singapore-electricity-consumption

Singapore’s electricity consumption is increasing steadily each year, and has increased by 2.6 times over the past 17 years. Electricity consumption per capita increased at a slower rate by 1.8 times over the past 17 years and remained relatively constant from 2005 to 2007, perhaps an indication that the government’s energy conservation efforts are paying off.

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2. Energy Consumption

There is some dispute on whether Singapore is energy intensive and a big consumer of energy per person in the world, which arises due to the different sources of energy statistics used. There are two commonly quoted sources of energy statistics – the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The graph below shows the energy consumption per capita for selected countries in 2006 based on statistics from EIA’s International Energy Statistics and IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2008. If the EIA data is used, the energy consumption per capita for Singapore is higher than the US, other developed countries and the world average. If the IEA data is used, the energy consumption per capita for Singapore is lower than other developed countries such as the US and Finland.

energy-consumption-per-capita2

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3. Energy Intensity

Energy intensity is usually used as an indication of the level of energy efficiency in a country and is measured in terms of energy consumption per dollar of gross domestic product (GDP). A low energy intensity means that the country is able to produce each unit of output using less energy.

The graph below shows the energy intensity for selected countries in 2006 based on statistics from EIA’s International Energy Statistics and IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2008. If the EIA data is used, the energy intensity for Singapore is higher than the US, other developed countries and the world average. If the IEA data is used, the energy intensity for Singapore is comparable to other developed countries such as Finland and the US.

energy-intensity1

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4. Discrepancy Between Energy Statistics

The discrepancy between EIA and IEA statistics is due to the different calculation of energy consumption. According to EIA’s International Energy Statistics, the energy consumption for Singapore is 53.98 Mtoe. On the other hand, the IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2008 shows that the energy consumption for Singapore is lower at 30.67 Mtoe.

The energy consumption based on the EIA is about 43% more than that of the IEA. This is because EIA includes marine bunkers (deliveries of oils to ships for consumption during international voyages) in its calculation of energy consumption and as Singapore is the largest marine bunkering centre in the world, our energy consumption is thus overestimated, which in turn leads to higher energy consumption per capita and energy intensity for Singapore. On the other hand, IEA excludes marine bunkers from its calculation of energy consumption.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the National Environment Agency has cited the IEA’s statistics as it gives a more realistic representation of Singapore’s energy consumption. A paper titled Benchmarking Singapore’s Energy Intensity (published in the Economic Survey of Singapore, Third Quarter 2006) says that:

Among the three sources of data, IEA’s numbers paint a more accurate picture of Singapore’s true energy intensity, as IEA has stripped away marine bunkers from its calculation of energy consumption. Singapore is the largest marine bunkering centre in the world. In 2003, we supplied about 20.8 million tons of bunker oil to ships. EIA’s and BP’s data overestimated Singapore’s energy intensity because they attributed marine bunkers as energy consumed in Singapore.

And concludes that:

After accounting for marine bunkers, Singapore’s energy intensity is roughly on par with countries of the same level of development. Compared to less energy intensive economies, Singapore’s higher energy intensity is due mostly to the use of energy in the manufacturing sector, the consumption of fuels as feedstock in the petrochemicals industry and the sale of jet fuel to the international civil aviation sector.

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5. Energy Efficiency Policies

Regardless of the dispute on Singapore’s energy intensity, the government is committed to taking steps to reduce our energy consumption. According to the Energy Efficient Singapore website, Singapore’s energy intensity dropped by 15% from 1990 to 2005 (see graph below) and has been decreasing steadily since 2002, likely due to the use of better and more efficient technology in the power generation and other sectors.

energy-efficiency-in-singapore

Singapore’s key strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to be more energy efficient. The Sustainable Development Blueprint sets a target to reduce our energy intensity (per dollar GDP) by 20% from 2005 levels by 2020, and by 35% from 2005 levels by 2030.

To help Singapore meet the targets, the Energy Efficiency Programme Office (E2PO) is promoting energy efficiency in the various sectors through the Energy Efficient Singapore (E2 Singapore) policies and measures:

energy-efficiency-measures1

Image credit: Energy Consumption by Sectors in 2005 via National Energy Policy Report; Energy Intensity Indexed to 1990 Level via E2 Singapore; Summary of Policies and Measures in E2 Singapore via National Climate Change Strategy.

Singapore’s Carbon Dioxide Emissions Per Capita and Carbon Intensity

May 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

singapore-in-blackIs Singapore carbon intensive and a big contributor of carbon dioxide per capita in the world? How do we compare with other developed countries? Let’s take a look at Singapore’s total carbon dioxide emissions, carbon dioxide emissions per capita, and carbon intensity.

1. Carbon Dioxide Emissions

According to the National Climate Change Strategy, the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Singapore are generated from the following sectors (in 2005):

singapore-carbon-emissions

Singapore’s total absolute CO2 emissions and CO2 emissions per capita from 1990 to 2007 is shown in the graph below, based on statistics from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the National Climate Change Strategy and the Singapore Department of Statistics.

carbon-emissions-in-singapore

Singapore’s CO2 emissions is 39.9 Mt in 2007, which accounts for less than 0.2% of global CO2 emissions. The graph shows that Singapore’s CO2 emissions has increased about 83% from 1990 to 2007 but has remained relatively constant over the past 4 years. The CO2 emissions per capita has also reached a peak in 2004 and declined slowly. This is likely due to the switch to cleaner natural gas for power generation and other energy efficiency measures by the government.

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2. Carbon Intensity

Carbon intensity is usually measured in terms of the CO2 emissions per dollar GDP at 2000 prices. A low carbon intensity means that the country is able to produce each unit of output with less CO2 emissions.

The graph below shows Singapore’s carbon intensity from 1990 to 2007, based on statistics from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the National Climate Change Strategy and the Singapore Department of Statistics.

carbon-intensity-in-singapore

Singapore’s carbon intensity is 0.17 kgCO2/2000S$ in 2007 and has dropped by about 39% from 1990 to 2007, likely due to the switch to cleaner natural gas for power generation and other energy efficiency measures. Under the Singapore Green Plan 2012, a target has been set to improve our carbon intensity by 25% from 1990 level by 2012. We have already met the target and even exceeded it.

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3. Discrepancy Between Carbon Statistics

There is some dispute on whether Singapore is carbon intensive and a big contributor of CO2 per person in the world, which arises due to the different sources of energy statistics used. There are two commonly quoted sources of energy statistics – the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The graph below shows the CO2 emissions per capita for selected countries in 2006 based on statistics from EIA’s International Energy Statistics and IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2008. If the EIA data is used, the CO2 emissions per capita for Singapore is much higher than the US, other developed countries and the world average. If the IEA data is used, the CO2 emissions per capita for Singapore is lower than other developed countries such as the US, Australia and Finland.

co2-per-capita

The graph below shows the carbon intensity for selected countries in 2006 based on statistics from EIA’s International Energy Statistics and IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2008. If the EIA data is used, the carbon intensity for Singapore is higher than the US, other developed countries and the world average. If the IEA data is used, the carbon intensity for Singapore is lower than the world average and other developed countries such as the US, Australia and Finland.

carbon-intensity

The discrepancy between the EIA and IEA statistics is due to the different calculation of energy consumption. The energy consumption based on the EIA is higher as it includes marine bunkers in its calculation and as Singapore is the largest marine bunkering centre in the world, our energy consumption is thus overestimated, which in turn leads to higher CO2 emissions and carbon intensity for Singapore. On the other hand, IEA excludes marine bunkers from its calculation of energy consumption. Read the Overview of the Energy Situation in Singapore for more discussion on the discrepancy.

Image credit: mjamesno; Key CO2 Contributors (2005) via National Climate Change Strategy.