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

2012 Guide to Singapore Government Funding and Incentives for the Environment

May 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Insights

Updated 2015 Guide to Singapore Government Funding and Incentives for the Environment

Singapore is well-known as a clean and green city with the government striving for environmental sustainability while growing the economy. The government has also identified Environmental and Water Technologies (EWT) including Clean Energy as strategic areas where Singapore has a competitive edge and which could generate future economic growth.

To accelerate the growth of the environmental industry and to maintain Singapore’s image as a City in a Garden, the government has initiated several funding and incentive schemes related to energy efficiency, clean energy, green buildings, water and environmental technologies, green transport and shipping, waste minimisation, energy and greenhouse gas management, and environmental initiatives and training.

The funding and incentive schemes are provided by government agencies such as:

To help businesses understand what’s available, we have compiled a list of 35 government funding and incentives for the environment:

  1. Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme (EASe)
  2. Grant for Energy Efficient Technologies (GREET)
  3. One-Year Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Energy Efficient Equipment and Technology (ADAS)
  4. Design for Efficiency Scheme (DfE)
  5. Singapore Certified Energy Manager (SCEM) Training Grant
  6. Clean Energy Research and Testbedding Programme (CERT)
  7. Energy Research Development Fund (ERDF)
  8. Solar Capability Scheme (SCS)
  9. Pilot Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Scheme
  10. Green Mark Incentive Scheme for Existing Buildings (GMIS-EB)
  11. Green Mark Incentive Scheme – Design Prototype (GMIS-DP)
  12. Green Mark Gross Floor Area Incentive Scheme (GM-GFA)
  13. MND Research Fund for the Built Environment
  14. A*STAR-MND Joint Grant Call
  15. Skyrise Greenery Incentive Scheme
  16. Sustainable Construction Capability Development Fund
  17. Water Efficiency Fund (WEF)
  18. Fast-Track Environmental and Water Technologies Incubator Scheme (Fast-Tech)
  19. TechPioneer Scheme
  20. Incentive for Research and Innovation Scheme (IRIS)
  21. Innovation Voucher Scheme
  22. Innovation for Environmental Sustainability (IES) Fund
  23. One-year Accelerated Depreciation Allowance for Highly Efficient Pollution Control Equipment
  24. Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF)
  25. Green Vehicle Rebate (GVR)
  26. Transport Technology Innovation and Development Scheme (TIDES+)
  27. Green Technology Programme
  28. Green Ship Programme
  29. Green Port Programme
  30. 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Fund
  31. Environment Technology Research Programme (ETRP)
  32. Quality for Enterprises through Standards (QUEST) Programme
  33. Clean Development Mechanism Documentation Grant
  34. 3P Partnership Fund
  35. Infocomm Leadership and Development Programme (iLEAD) Expanded

If we missed out any funding or incentive scheme, do let us know. Thanks! Read more

Singapore’s National Policies on Energy and Climate Change

May 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Insights

This summary aims to provide a brief overview of Singapore’s national policies on energy and climate change, and is divided into the following sections:

  1. National Policy Reports
  2. Energy Policy Group
  3. Singapore’s Economic Focus
  4. Energy Supply
  5. Clean Energy
  6. Carbon Intensity and Energy Efficiency

singapore-nightlight

1. National Policy Reports

The Singapore government’s policies on energy and climate change can be found in three national reports:

These three reports are essential reading for those who wish to have an overall picture of what the government is doing or plan to do on issues related to energy, climate change and the environment. There’s also another previous report worth reading – the Singapore Green Plan 2012 (2006 edition), published in Feb 2006.

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2. Energy Policy Group

Climate change and energy issues are complex and cut across different sectors and industries, and involve policies from different ministries and agencies. The Singapore government recognises the need to have an integrated approach to dealing with energy and climate change, and has adopted a whole-of-government approach led by the Energy Policy Group (EPG) since Mar 2006. The EPG consists of representatives from the:

  • Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)
  • Ministry of Finance (MOF)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)
  • Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR)
  • Ministry of Transport (MOT)
  • Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
  • Building and Construction Authority (BCA)
  • Economic Development Board (EDB)
  • Energy Market Authority (EMA)
  • Land Transport Authority (LTA)
  • National Environment Agency (NEA)

The EPG has four working groups on Economic Competitiveness, Energy Security, Climate Change and the Environment, and Energy Industry Development, headed by the different agencies shown below:

epg

3. Singapore’s Economic Focus

Singapore’s energy and climate change policies are influenced mainly by economic considerations. The government will take pragmatic and cost-effective actions to reduce emissions and adopt clean energy, as long as the actions does not affect our economic growth or add to costs greatly.

We can’t volunteer to take drastic measures to reduce emissions on our own, at the cost of our economy and our economic growth because this is not a problem which any country can do by itself. … We contribute less than 0.2% of all the carbon emissions worldwide – 0.2% – so what we do in Singapore is not going to change the world. … but we can’t say, therefore, we ignore it. We will do our fair share as part of a global effort to reduce greenhouse gases. – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Energy plays an indispensable role in our economy, and will remain critical to our continued economic growth and development. The ultimate aim of our energy policy is to support Singapore’s continued economic growth. – National Energy Policy Report

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4. Energy Supply

About 80% of Singapore’s electricity is generated from natural gas piped from Malaysia and Indonesia. The remaining electricity is generated from fuel oil and a small percentage from diesel and refuse. The government understands that we are vulnerable to energy supply and price risks as we import all our oil and gas, and has taken steps to diversify our energy supplies.

To diversify our natural gas supply, the government has decided to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and plan to have the LNG import terminal ready in 2012. This would reduce our reliance on our neighbors and increase our supply of natural gas from countries that are further from Singapore such as Australia, Qatar and Russia.

solarpark1In addition, the government is looking at other energy sources such as solar and biofuels, and is open to other clean energy technologies and will consider these energy technologies as and when it becomes viable for adoption.

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5. Clean Energy

The government has identified the clean energy industry as a key growth area since Mar 2007. The clean energy industry is expected to contribute S$1.7 billion to the GDP and create 7,000 jobs by 2015. The government has put in place several initiatives and funding to attract clean energy companies to set up their operations in Singapore and create jobs, and also to encourage research and development and test-bedding in clean energy technologies.

However, the government has made it clear that it will not subsidise clean energy:

Our basic policy tenet is that energy costs should be borne in full by end users. Individuals and industries should adjust their consumption of energy according to its true cost as reflected in its price. We do not subsidise the cost of energy because it will dampen price signals, and create the incentive to over-consume. … As it stands, renewable energies such as solar are still as some members have noted, much more expensive than traditional fossil fuel-based energy. To be consistent with our basic principles, we should not adopt measures which subsidise specific renewable energy types. – Senior Minister of State S. Iswaran, MTI

In Singapore, solar energy is the most promising clean energy source. However, the cost of solar energy generation is currently about twice that of energy generated by fossil fuel. In the Sustainable Development Blueprint, the government announced its plans:

We will invest early in solar technology test-bedding projects to prepare to use solar technology on a larger scale when the cost of solar energy falls closer to that of conventional energy.

HDB will implement a large-scale solar test-bed for public housing within 30 precincts islandwide, which will cost $31 million and provide 3.1 megawatts peak of solar capacity. This trial will help Singapore to implement solar technology on a larger scale when it becomes cost effective in the future.

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6. Carbon Intensity and Energy Efficiency

Singapore does not have a target to reduce absolute carbon dioxide emissions. Instead, Singapore has a national target to improve our carbon intensity by 25% from 1990 level by 2012 under the Singapore Green Plan 2012. We have already met the target and even exceeded it (read Singapore’s Carbon Dioxide Emissions Per Capita and Carbon Intensity).

Singapore’s key strategy to reduce carbon dioxide 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 policies and measures (read the Overview of the Energy Situation in Singapore).

Image credit: garytamin; Energy Policy Group via National Energy Policy Report.