Spotted: At only 728 square kilometres in size, the densely populated city-state of Singapore doesn’t have enough land to host the solar panels necessary for making a big leap in renewable energy production. Having recently set itself ambitious targets of 1.5 gigawatt-peak (GWp) volumes of solar energy by 2025, rising to two GWp by 2030, the country is looking with a new perspective at its available resources. Large expanses of water such as reservoirs are ideal for the government’s latest sustainability push — floating solar farms and energy storage systems.
Several significant projects are underway by local energy suppliers. Sembcorp Industries is building on the Tengeh reservoir a floating power plant designed to produce 60 MW of electricity. In the Strait of Johor, the Sunseap Group is building a photovoltaic system with the capacity to create five MW of electricity, which is enough to supply 1,250 flats for a year.
The long-term goal is for solar to provide 10 to 20 per cent of the country’s energy needs. In pursuit of that, the government is investing substantially in research and development and collaborative approaches such as regional power grids. Already threatened by rising sea levels, Singapore is one of many countries acutely aware of the effects of climate change and, as a result, are accelerating applications of innovative alternatives in a range of industries.
Written By: Keely Khoury