Singapore is seriously considering the option of importing electricity to diversify its sources of energy supply. The government will consult the public on the regulatory framework to govern such imports from the region. The idea of importing electricity was brought up recently in the midst of Singapore’s growing demand for natural gas, which currently fuels 80 per cent of its electricity needs. Natural gas is imported from Malaysia and Indonesia via pipelines. The government foresees this demand to soon exceed supply, so diversifying the country’s energy sources is an option.
S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, said: “What we are now seeking to do is whether, through the importation of electricity, we can achieve some sort of fuel diversification as well, because there may be options for electricity to be generated through alternate, renewable means or other sources, which can then feed into our system. So that is one of the considerations we have as part of a larger diversification strategy for Singapore.” He added that Singapore is a small country in a volatile energy environment, and the challenge is to secure reliable and competitively-priced energy supplies to sustain its growth. Discussions have been held on the regional level at ASEAN, and Singapore now wants to hear from the private sector.
By year-end, the Energy Market Authority will launch a public consultation exercise with industry players and key stakeholders to shape the regulatory framework to govern electricity imports to Singapore. “For it to start, you need to look at it from the angle of what makes sense for individual countries working together with their immediate neighbours, (that) would be the way to get forward. And I think it is not just about governments, it is also about the private sector. Because at the end of the day, even if the governments are all supportive, we will need private sector investments to make this happen,” Mr Iswaran said. Announcing this at the Singapore International Energy Week, Mr Iswaran also gave an update on innovative energy solutions. Two more companies – Renault and Nissan – will join the electric vehicle (EV) pilot project, which was launched in June this year.