Singapore has joined the International Energy Agency (IEA) as an association country, following in the footsteps of China, Thailand and Indonesia.The move was announced by Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran at the opening of the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) on Monday (Oct 24).
"Becoming an Association Country is a natural extension of Singapore’s already close collaboration with the IEA. It will allow us to further participate in the global energy dialogue, and keep abreast of new technical developments in the energy sector," said Mr Iswaran.
Singapore can also partner the IEA to build up capabilities in the region, starting with two new initiatives: the Singapore-IEA regional training hub and an annual Singapore-IEA Forum to drive discussion on new technologies and innovation.
The training hub will allow the IEA to use Singapore as a base to boost the region's energy-related capabilities, according to Mr Iswaran, adding that a regional version of the IEA's Energy Efficiency Training Week will be held here next year for policymakers and officials.
In his speech, the minister also disclosed that the Energy Market Authority (EMA) is seeking views on how the Republic can store energy that has been produced and use it at a later time.
The concept, called the Energy Storage Systems (ESS), can be used to support the usage of intermittently generated renewable sources such as solar energy. For consumers, ESS can offer protection against voltage dips as well as optimise energy consumption through demand-side management services.
“To keep pace with the growing share of solar in Singapore’s electricity generation mix, we are taking proactive steps to address the issue of intermittency and to ensure grid stability. (ESS) offer one solution, particularly with advances in technology and reductions in cost,” Mr Iswaran said.
The objectives of the consultation paper are to ensure that relevant regulations are in place to keep pace with the development of ESS technologies and to support evolving business models and innovations revolving around ESS.
EMA invites stakeholders, such as generation companies, electricity retailers and power grid operators, to provide their views on the matter.
"Many of the policy initiatives that Singapore is undertaking – to encourage innovative demand-side energy management solutions, build up smart grids, and support energy storage – aim to strengthen our long-term energy competitiveness, security, and sustainability," said Mr Iswaran. "These solutions will also be relevant for a rapidly urbanising Asia, which is also the centre of gravity for global growth."