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):


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’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.


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.



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.



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.


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.


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:


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.

Find Ways to Reduce Unnecessary Energy Usage

May 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

powerbuttonLook around your house and find ways to reduce unnecessary energy usage. Here are some tips:

1. Switch off your electronic appliances such as the television and DVD player at the power socket, and don’t leave them on standby mode. The standby mode still consumes energy (also known as vampire energy) and can add to your electricity bill.

Here’s a video on vampire energy:


2. Unplug your charger after charging your mobile phone as the charger left in the power socket still consumes energy.

3. Remember to switch off all the lights and appliances when leaving the house or when they are not in use. Do a quick check before leaving the house. You can connect different appliances to a power strip so that you only need to turn off one switch.

laptop4. If you’re buying a new computer, choose a laptop instead of a desktop as laptops use less energy. Also remember to use the power management mode on your computer to save energy. Here’s a guide to enable the energy saving features on your computer.

5. Reduce the brightness of your computer and television to cut energy consumption. The factory default setting may be brighter than necessary.

6. Remove unnecessary outdoor lighting such as spotlights. If you need them on at night, put them on a timer or use motion sensors.

7. Avoid using the clothes dryer when the weather is sunny, instead hang your clothes out to dry naturally.

Conduct an Energy Survey to Identify Energy Saving Opportunities

May 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

clipboardAn energy survey is a simple assessment of the energy use in your organisation and the aim is to identify and correct bad energy habits and practices. Start by forming a small team to conduct the energy survey, appointing an energy manager as the team leader and recruiting staff from different departments as team members.

The team will conduct the energy survey by taking a walk around the offices, building and facilities to observe what is happening on the ground, identify bad and wasteful energy use and habits, and identify opportunities for energy saving.

The survey should be conducted at different timings so as to find out the different energy usage throughout the day and at different periods. Surveys can be carried out:

  • At a normal weekday during office hours
  • At busy and peak hours
  • At lunchtime
  • After office hours
  • During weekends

Use past and current utility bills, meter data, maintenance records and other energy information to help keep track of the energy usage in your organisation.

Here are some areas to take note of during the energy survey:

Office Equipment

  • Are office equipment left on standby after office hours and during weekends? Can we switch them off easily?
  • Does the computers, printers, photocopiers and other equipment have built-in energy saving features? Are we using these features and do we know how to use them?
  • Can we use software to switch equipment off after office hours?
  • Are vending machines and water coolers left on at night? Can we use timers to switch them off after office hours?


  • facade-lightingAre lights switched off in unoccupied areas or if there is sufficient daylight? Can we reduce unnecessary lighting?
  • Can we use motion sensors for the stairs and carpark?
  • Are lights switched off when no one is in the room or office? Who is responsible to switch off the lights after office hours?
  • Are external and facade lighting switched off during the day? Can we adjust the timers to switch off the lighting earlier?
  • Are light fittings arranged strategically and light switches labelled properly?
  • Are we still using inefficient lighting? Can we change to energy efficient light bulbs and tubes?

Air-Conditioning and Ventilation

  • Is the office too warm or cold? Can we adjust the air-conditioning temperature up to about 25 degree Celsius or at a comfortable high temperature?
  • When is the air conditioning switched off and on during the day?
  • Are the windows and doors open when the air-conditioning is on?
  • Are the air-conditioning and ventilation system maintained and serviced regularly? Are the settings optimised and correct?
  • Are there obstructions at air inlets and outlets?

Industrial Equipment

  • Do boilers, pumps, fans and other equipment have the correct and optimised settings?
  • Are the equipment serviced and maintained regularly?
  • Are the equipment misused by operators who are not trained properly?
  • Are there any compressed air, refrigerant or steam leaks?
  • Are there opportunities to tap waste heat from equipment and exhaust gases?

successAfter the energy survey, look at the findings and decide what actions to take. Implement the no-cost or low-cost actions first, such as educating employees, changing habits and practices, proper maintenance of equipment, changing energy settings and removing unnecessary lighting.

Next, consider the higher-cost actions such as installing new energy efficient lighting and equipment, and using energy saving technologies.

Remember to keep the management and employees informed of the energy survey findings, actions taken and energy savings.

Image credit: dlnny; olimohd; lockstockb.