Singapore, despite being one of the world’s smallest countries, has a significant pollution crisis that greatly contributes to the global climate issue. Moving with the world, Singapore is also turning to renewable and clean energy sources. Singapore has placed its entire reliance on solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment in pursuit of a renewable and sustainable energy source for the future. Since environmental restrictions and lack of land make wind and hydropower production difficult, the country is placing a large bet on solar PV installations.
To increase renewable energy supply and reduce carbon emissions, Singapore is relying on floating solar farms and vertical panels, a model that greatly works in other densely populated cities. Looking at the present scenario, thousands of gleaming solar panels extend into the sea off the coast of Singapore, part of the city’s effort to develop floating solar farms to cut down greenhouse gas emissions. At present, Singapore’s primary tool for solar PV development is the government’s SolarNova scheme. This scheme aims to consistently auction renewable energy on a regular basis. A total of five phases were completed between 2015 and 2020, awarding nearly 296 megawatts (MW) of power. 60 MW of power was awarded in the fifth round, which took place last year. This ability is planned to be built through 1,154 HDB blocks and 46 government sites.
Singapore is now focusing its efforts on the next target, which is to generate at least 2 Gigawatts (GW) of solar energy by 2030, enough to power about 350,000 households. The country is growing its investment in floating solar energy research and development (R&D) initiatives in order to support future growth. Singapore’s government declared in 2020 that it will reduce its carbon emissions to 65 million tons per year after ten years, then slash them in half by 2050. It also announced “The Singapore Green Plan 2030,” which includes a target of reducing waste by 20% by 2026, the installation of 60K electric vehicle charging stations within 10 years, and the elevation of green building standards. Between now and 2030, Singapore is planned to add 1.2 GW of new power capacity. Almost all of this power is expected to come from SolarNova-awarded new solar PV installations. This also assists the government in meeting its commitment to reduce emissions intensity by 36% by 2030 compared to the levels of 2005.
Need For Floating Solar
The Southeast Asian cluster of countries lacks certain natural resources like sufficient land area, and climatic conditions needed for large-scale deployment of renewable energy sources in comparison to larger countries. This makes it incredibly difficult for Southeast Asian countries to achieve net-zero global warming emissions.
Despite its status as a financial centre, Singapore faces an unenviable challenge in terms of clean energy implementation. The small country lacks fast-moving rivers for hydropower, and the region’s wind is not powerful enough to fuel turbines all year. The above-mentioned reasons have forced Singapore to turn to solar energy for its energy needs. After the exhaustion of rooftops and lands, for the building of solar farms, the government moved onto building panels at sea and on its reservoirs. Despite these efforts, critics think that the country needs to strategically think and work more on the grounds to curb climate change as Singapore is a leading financial hub and early adopter of new technologies that will invariably set a precedent for many other countries when it comes to dealing with global climate related issues.
Floating solar has several distinct advantages over land-based solar PV systems due to its nature. Due to its performance and positive effect on the marine ecosystem underneath, floating solar is beneficial in both a financial and environmental context. The potential cost savings and generation efficiency of floating solar is at the core of these advantages. One of the major advantages of floating solar is that it does not necessitate the use of expensive land space, which can be costly and even invasive depending on the project. Other uses of land, such as agricultural methods, may be retained.
Singapore’s solar drive is about more than just supplying green electricity. It is also about generating jobs, economic value, and new ideas. The new developments would not only address Singapore’s problems, but they would also open up possibilities for other megacities. The above discussion makes it clear that Singapore’s decision to rely on floating solar capacity to reduce its reliance on conventional methods of energy is beneficial for the entire world at large.