Project development and finance
Technological innovations are not Singapore’s only strengths. The city-state is also leveraging its position as the leading project development and financing hub for the region to develop new clean energy project-financing capabilities. One key initiative is to attract the renewable energy desks of financial organisations to use Singapore as the springboard to serve Asia. The development of novel financial instruments such as project bonds and green business trusts are also being developed and implemented.
In addition, innovative financing and business models are being piloted which will address high upfront costs and further encourage the adoption of solar technologies. Under Singapore’s first solar leasing project, for example, Punggol Eco-town will have 2 MW of solar PV capacity.
Offsite PPA is an additional innovative business model currently being explored to create the possibility of meeting the clean energy demands of energy-intensive operations, such as data centres, by indirectly consuming clean energy from solar energy generated on an unrelated site.
New areas: energy management and urban systems
As a limited land mass that is subject to rapidly fluctuating weather patterns, Singapore needs to address the challenge presented by an intermittent supply of solar energy. As a result, the country is conducting research into novel kinds of control and optimisation platforms. The government is also piloting smart meters, building energy management systems, demand response and electric vehicles as part of the overall national testbed in smart grids.
Another innovative approach has been an ongoing floating photovoltaic pilot project on Singapore’s reservoirs, which seeks to investigate an alternative to rooftops. Solar cooling technology, meanwhile, in the form of the largest solar cooling system in the world today, is being tested at United World College (UWC), an educational institution.