Singapore seeks solutions to land constraints and other challenges in deploying energy storage


The Singapore Energy Market Authority (EMA) is figuring out how energy storage technologies can be widely deployed in the country, overcoming constraints such as limited availability of land.

The EMA is a government body tasked with roles that include ensuring reliable and secure energy supply and promoting effective competition in energy markets, in a city-state which is home to more than five million people in an area of just under 730 km², while being an economic and technology industry hub to much of the wider region.

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The authority last Friday (7 July) launched the next phase in an ongoing programme to support the development of clean energy solutions suitable for Singapore’s specific needs, supporting its transition to a net zero economy by 2050.

Then, yesterday the EMA announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to work on the development of renewable energy generation and transmission across the ASEAN region, and to collaborate on establishing a cross-border power grid for ASEAN countries.

The EMA said the nation’s challenges include its hot and humid tropical climate, densely populated urban environment and land constraints. It is seeking proposals for industry-led projects to further R&D development to overcome these challenges, as well as helping lower the cost of energy storage systems and optimising them for safety.

Its Grant Call for energy storage is an invitation to industry and researchers to work on developing those solutions, and is open until mid-September.

Violet Chen, a director at the industry development department of the Energy Market Authority was among the speakers at the Energy Storage Asia Summit 2023, hosted this week in Singapore by our publisher Solar Media.

Taking part in a panel discussion on Singapore’s perspectives on energy storage, Chen said that with power sector emissions comprising around 40% of total emissions, it is a must to decarbonise it “as we move towards a clean energy future”.

Doing that will require promotion and advancement of cleaner thermal generation from gas, deployment of solar PV – and developing an ASEAN regional grid, Chen said.

The EMA manages the grid as well as energy markets, and quickly recognised that the introduction of higher shares of solar would present an intermittency of generation that energy storage can help manage.

Violet Chen’s role includes facilitating public-private partnerships as a crucial aspect of the EMA’s role in developing a “vibrant ecosystem to support the energy transition,” and key pieces of that include innovation to overcome those constraints and knowledge exchange to share learnings from projects.

Chen said that the authority was aware that the energy storage industry wants to be involved in this ecosystem development and the EMA was “very excited” to launch the Grant Call.

As regular readers of may know, Singapore already reached a 200MW energy storage deployment target two years ahead of time with the start of commercial operations at a large-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) at Jurong Island, which is home to much of the country’s energy generation infrastructure.

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