Singapore aims to expand solar power use in city state by 2030

FILE PHOTO: Solar panels are seen on the roof of a public housing block in Singapore September 23, 2018. Picture taken September 23, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Natural gas will continue to play a dominant role in generating electricity in Singapore while the city-state plans to scale up the use of renewable energy, primarily solar power, in the next decade, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The cost of installing solar power has been falling over the years, making the renewable energy source more competitive against fossil fuels. The use of renewable energy will also reduce pollution and enable countries to meet emission targets.

Singapore aims to widen the use of solar power in the city state, targeting a 2-gigawatt (GW) peak of solar power capacity by 2030, which is equivalent to 10% of the country’s current electricity consumption, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said at Singapore International Energy Week.

Besides putting solar panels on buildings, Singapore plans to double the capacity of floating solar modules in Singapore’s water reservoirs from current plans of around a 160-megawatt (MW) peak, he said.

The city state also plans to deploy 200 MW of energy storage systems (ESS) beyond 2025 to augment solar power generation, Chan said.

“Over the next 10 years, we expect solar with ESS to reach cost-parity with current gas turbines,” he said.

Still, he added that natural gas will continue to be the dominant fuel for Singapore in the near future due to the time needed to scale up alternative sources for power generation.

Singapore plans to diversify the sources of natural gas into the country and it will continue to develop its role as a trading hub for liquefied natural gas (LNG), Chan said.

The country is also studying plans to build a second LNG import terminal and will look at issuing more import licenses, he added.

Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh, Jessica Jaganathan and Seng Li Peng; Writing by Florence Tan; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christian Schmollinger

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