Singapore - Photo credit, Monikawl1999 & Free Images - Pixabay
Welcome to the thirty-fourth edition of my weekly blog where I take a closer look at the policies adopted by individual countries in their efforts to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement. Particular attention is paid to the role that Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) research and technologies are playing in the drive to meet these requirements.
Singapore ranks 14th highest under Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI) and has been in and out of the top 20 ranked countries in this biennial index since its inception in January 2006. ‘Water and Sanitation’, ‘Water Resources’ and ‘Climate and Energy’ were the sub-categories where Singapore’s performance was best.
Paris Agreement Targets
As part of its signup to the Paris climate accord, Singapore pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions by 36% of 2005 levels by 2030. In June 2017, the US announced that they were withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. Following this news, Singapore moved swiftly to re-confirm the country’s commitment to its Paris Agreement target.
We mentioned in the introduction that Singapore scored highest in three sub-categories of the EPI index in 2016, including ‘Climate and Energy. Zooming in further within this sub-category reveals that Singapore scored highest in ‘Access to Electricity’ within this area. Access to electricity is always of strategic importance to a high performing economy, the question is what are the sources of this electricity?
In 2003 the fuel mix for electricity generation in Singapore was 61% natural gas, 36% petroleum, and 3% other. Since then, the natural gas proportion of the overall mix has climbed steadily and for the three most recent years 2014 – 2016 it was 95% of the overall figure. This helps explain Singapore’s relatively low carbon intensity levels as natural gas is almost twice as clean as coal and roughly 40% cleaner than diesel fuel.
National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS)
In 2011, Singapore’s NCCS in partnership with the National Research Foundation (NRF) developed ‘Technology Primers’ in areas such as CCUS, smart grid, solar energy etc. in order to develop an understanding of how these technologies could enable a more efficient and cleaner delivery of energy to the economy.
Following on from the identification of “Technology Primers’, NCCS and NRF built technology roadmaps to help tackle climate change and energy problems. These roadmaps will inform government funding and planning up to 2030 in the following areas:
Singapore is one the highest ranked countries in Yale’s EPI index and more specifically in the area of ‘Climate and Energy’. The country’s government has reiterated its commitment to the Paris climate accord following the withdrawal of the US from the agreement. The country has put a lot of thought and money into the development of technology primers and roadmaps that provide a clear path towards reducing its GhG emissions by 36% of 2005 levels over the next dozen years or so. Because electricity is almost exclusively generated by natural gas, opportunities in the area of CCUS are limited because of the use of cleaner fuels.
Next week’s blog will take a look at how companies are capturing CO2 and converting it into Urea.
If you liked this article you might enjoy reading some recent articles in the series:
Week 33 New Zealand: Cows and cars could cost Kiwi economy NZ$14.2b in carbon credits
Week 32 Polymers: creating plastic out of thin air
Week 31 France: The electricity generation dilemma, retrofits and politics