Renewable Energy

Switching to renewable energy could save trillions – study

The cost of green energy like wind and solar has been falling for decades. Image: Philip Silverman

LONDON, Sep 13 (BBC) – Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world as much as $12tn (£10.2tn) by 2050, an Oxford University study says.

The report said it was wrong and pessimistic to claim that moving quickly towards cleaner energy sources was expensive.

Gas prices have soared on mounting concerns over energy supplies.

But the researchers say that going green now makes economic sense because of the falling cost of renewables.

“Even if you’re a climate denier, you should be on board with what we’re advocating,” Prof Doyne Farmer from the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School told BBC News.

“Our central conclusion is that we should go full speed ahead with the green energy transition because it’s going to save us money,” he said.

The report’s findings are based on looking at historic price data for renewables and fossil fuels and then modelling how they’re likely to change in the future.

The data for fossil fuels goes from 2020 back more than 100 years and shows that after accounting for inflation, and market volatility, the price hasn’t changed much.

Renewables have only been around for a few decades, so there’s less data. But in that time continual improvements in technology have meant the cost of solar and wind power have fallen rapidly, at a rate approaching 10% a year.

The report’s expectation that the price of renewables will continue to fall is based on “probabilistic” modelling, using data on how massive investment and economies of scale have made other similar technologies cheaper.

“Our latest research shows scaling-up key green technologies will continue to drive their costs down, and the faster we go, the more we will save,” says Dr Rupert Way, the report’s lead author from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

Wind and solar are already the cheapest option for new power projects, but questions remain over how to best store power and balance the grid when the changes in the weather leads to fall in renewable output.

Cost of net zero

Back in 2019 Philip Hammond, then Chancellor of the Exchequer wrote to the prime minister to say that the cost of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the UK would be more than £1tn. This report says the likely costs have been over-estimated and have deterred investment.

It also says predictions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the cost of keeping global temperatures rises under 2 degrees would correspond to a loss of GDP by 2050 were too pessimistic. The transition to renewables was, it says, likely to turn out to be a “net economic benefit”.

The research has been published in the journal Joule and is a collaboration between the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, the Oxford Martin Programme on the Post-Carbon Transition, the Smith School of Enterprise & Environment at the University of Oxford, and SoDa Labs at Monash University.

Author: Jonah Fisher

Southeast Asia needs $210 bln annual investment on renewables -IRENA

Workers walk between solar cell panels over the water surface of Sirindhorn Dam in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand April 8, 2021. Picture taken April 8, 2021 with a drone. Source: REUTERS/Prapan Chankaew

JAKARTA, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Southeast Asian nations need to more than double their annual investment on renewables to accelerate energy transition and to meet climate goals, a report released on Thursday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) showed.

IRENA said, in the long term, average annual investment of $210 billion was needed on renewable energy, energy efficiency and to support technologies and infrastructure in the period to 2050 to limit a global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.Advertisement · Scroll to continueADVERTISINGReport an ad

The investment is more than two and a half times the amount currently planned by Southeast Asian governments to reach their goals, IRENA said.

“Coal retirement, coupled with renewables and regional grid interconnection, is an indispensable step to aligning with net-zero targets,” IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera said.

Southeast Asia is home to 25% of the world’s geothermal generation capacity, but the region also has major coal reserves. The region’s biggest economy Indonesia is the world’s top exporter of thermal coal.Advertisement · Scroll to continueReport an ad

While half of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have pledged to stop using coal in the power sector, La Camera said climate commitments required concerted and accelerated action “that must begin now to have a hope of success.”

The region aims to have 23% of its primary energy supplied by renewables by 2025, however, investments in recent years show mixed progress, IRENA said.Advertisement · Scroll to continueReport an ad

“Accelerating energy transition is crucial in order to meet climate goals and support the region’s economic growth,” said Nuki Agya Utama, executive director of the ASEAN Centre for Energy, adding the bloc remained committed to its 2025 goals.

IRENA said countries could by investing more in renewables reduce their energy costs and avoid as much as $1.5 trillion of costs related to health and environmental damage from fossil fuels up to 2050.

Author: Fransiska Nangoy

Study finds 100% renewables would pay off within 6 years

Image: Mark Jacobson

New research from Stanford University researcher Mark Jacobson outlines how 145 countries could meet 100% of their business-as-usual energy needs with wind, water, solar and energy storage. The study finds that in all the countries considered, lower-cost energy and other benefits mean the required investment for transition is paid off within six years. The study also estimates that worldwide, such a transition would create 28 million more jobs than it lost.

From pv magazine

As renewables come to represent a larger portion of the worldwide energy mix, and as targets are put in place to increase it further still, there are plenty of worries over the cost that radically changing our energy systems will entail. And the intermittent nature of wind and solar also creates concern about insufficient supply and possible blackouts.

The latest energy system models from Stanford University researcher Mark Jacobson, however, show that for 145 countries, the energy transition too 100% wind, water, solar and storage would pay for itself within six years, and ultimately cost less than continuing with the current energy systems.

“Worldwide, WWS reduces end use energy by 56.4%, private annual energy costs by 62.7% (from $17.8 to $6.6 trillion per year), and Social (private plus health plus climate) annual energy costs by 92.0% (from $83.2 to $6.6 trillion per year) at a present-value cost of $61.5 trillion,” Jacobson said in his most recent paper. “Thus, WWS requires less energy, costs less, and creates more jobs than business as usual.”

He described the model in “Low-cost solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity for 145 countries, which was recently published in Energy & Environmental Science. It builds on Jacobson’s previous work by adding new countries, more recent energy consumption data from all regions, and calculations to deal with uncertainty in the future price of battery energy storage, the role batteries will play, and the development of newer technologies such as vehicle to grid. But despite these uncertainties, Jacobson is certain that technological barriers don’t present a major roadblock for the transition.

“(About) 95% of the technologies needed to implement the plans proposed are already commercialized,” he states.

The study also finds that, while jobs would be lost in the mining and fossil fuels segments, 28 million more jobs would be created than lost overall. Only Russia, Canada and parts of Africa are expected to see net job losses as a result, as these regions economies depend heavily on fossil fuels.

Though the study provides clear evidence that a full transition to 100% renewable energy is both technically and economically possible, Jacobson warns that plenty of uncertainty remains.

“Many additional uncertainties exist. One of the greatest is whether sufficient political will can be obtained to affect a transition at the rapid pace needed” he said. “However if political will can be obtained, then transitioning the world entirely to clean, renewable energy should substantially reduce energy needs, costs, air pollution mortality, global warming, and energy insecurity while creating jobs, compared with BAU.”


Trina Solar achieves 24.5% efficiency for 210 mm p-type PERC solar cell

Image: Trina Solar

Trina Solar said the State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology in China has confirmed the efficiency rating of its latest solar panel.

From pv magazine

China’s Trina Solar has revealed that it has achieved a power conversion efficiency of 24.5% for a p-type PERC solar cell based on 210 mm wafers.

The results, confirmed by the State Key Laboratory of PV Science and Technology in China, represents a world record for this cell type, according to the company. In August 2021, the cell still had an efficiency of 23.5%, which means that it has gained one percentage point in less than 12 months.

The company said the increase in efficiency could be attributed to the development of advanced technologies such as multilayer anti-reflection, ultra-fine metallization fingers and super multi-busbar (MBB).

“PERC is a very mature industrial technology with the lowest cost,” said Yifeng Chen, head of Trina Solar’s high efficiency cell and module r&d center.

In March, Trina also set a new world record efficiency of 25.5% for its 210 mm × 210 mm monocrystalline n-type i-TOPCon solar cell. The result was certified by the National Institute of Metrology of China.


Singapore regulator issues fresh appeal for clean power

The International Renewable Agency calculated Singapore had 433 MW of grid-connected solar capacity at the end of 2021. Image: Engin_Akyurt, pixabay

The Energy Market Authority has already attracted proposals for 1.2 GW of renewable electricity, to be generated in four southeast Asian nations, and wants to raise that figure to 4 GW by 2035.

From pv magazine

Singapore’s electricity and gas regulator has issued a second call for electricity imports as it aims to procure 4 GW of clean power by 2035.

The Energy Market Authority last week said it had opened a second request for proposals (RfP) for generators to supply electricity to the city state.

A first RfP, issued in November 2021, attracted 20 proposals from solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power generators in Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and Thailand to export clean power to Singapore.

The regulator said all those proposals – which amounted to 1.2 GW of electricity imports from 2027 onwards – would automatically be considered under the latest RfP.

Fresh proposals can be submitted until December 29, 2023, the EMA said.

The regulator added, it has started operation of its Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project, which will see up to 100 MW of electricity generated in Laos exported to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia.

Author: Max Hall

Hydropower systems in high mountain areas need to be better adapted to climate change: NUS study

Pangong Lake in the Himalayas. Glaciers or glacial lakes at high altitudes are vulnerable to global warming. Image: ST File

From The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Power generation through harnessing water, one of the world’s largest renewable sources of electricity, is coming increasingly under threat in the Himalayan mountains and neighbouring ranges because of climate change-related disasters.

Many new hydropower projects are planned near glaciers or glacial lakes at high altitudes – which are vulnerable to global warming.

Better adaptation measures and more robust planning and monitoring systems are urgently needed, said a new study led by the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Known collectively as High Mountain Asia, this region has the largest reserves of water in the form of ice and snow outside the polar region.

Its glaciers, which provide water for drinking and agricultural use, also represent largely untapped potential for hydropower.

There are more than 650 hydropower projects either under construction or planned in the Himalayan region, with the hydropower potential in the High Mountain Asian region exceeding 500 gigawatts of energy, enough to support more than 350 million homes.

But only about 20 per cent of the estimated 500GW potential has been tapped so far.

Dr Dongfeng Li, the study’s lead author and a research fellow in NUS’ Department of Geography, said the study was motivated by recent hydropower plant failures in the Himalayas.

The team wanted to study the link between these mountainous hazards and climate change.

In February last year, an avalanche hit a Himalayan glacial valley in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, India, resulting in a cascade of debris and disastrous flooding that swept away two hydropower projects.

Conducted in collaboration with scientists from countries such as Britain, Nepal and Australia, the study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience on June 23, recommended climate change-resilient hydropower systems in high mountainous areas.

The study found that global warming-induced melting of ice systems is severely altering the volume and timing of water supplied from High Mountain Asia to downstream areas, which people rely on for food and energy.

The construction of more reservoirs to regulate stream flow and produce hydropower is a critical part of strategies for adapting to these changes.

However, these adaptation projects themselves are vulnerable to a complex set of interacting processes, including melting glaciers, the thawing of permafrost which results in landslides, as well as debris flows and floods from glacial lakes.

These processes can mobilise large amounts of sediments, which then fill up reservoirs, causing dam failure and degrading power turbines.

Professor Xixi Lu, also from NUS’ Department of Geography, the second author of the study, said future reservoirs should have additional storage space to cope with increased sedimentation from potential climate-related hazards.

The study also suggested that maps be created to better delineate current and future hazard-prone regions, particularly for hydropower plant hot spots.

These maps should inform policies for maintaining current hydropower plants and planning for new ones.

In addition, monitoring, forecasting and early-warning systems for future disasters should also be further developed and implemented.

Author: Cheryl Tan

Australia raises emissions cutting target for 2030

Australia’s new PM Anthony Albanese pledged to participate in international efforts to address global warming. Image: AFP

From AFP

MELBOURNE (REUTERS) – Australia, under a new Labor government, on Thursday  (June 16) raised its 2030 target for cutting carbon emissions, bringing the country more in line with other developed economies’ Paris climate accord commitments.

Australia, one of the world’s highest per capita carbon emitters, pledged to the United Nations that it would cut carbon emissions by 43 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, up from the previous conservative government’s target of between 26 per cent and 28 per cent.

“When I’ve spoken with international leaders in the last few weeks, they have all welcomed Australia’s changed position,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said after notifying the UN.

Under the former government, Australia, the world’s top exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas, had long been seen as a laggard in climate commitments, with no clear energy and climate policy to encourage renewable energy investments.

At the UN climate summit in Glasgow last year, former prime minister Scott Morrison was criticised for failing to set a more ambitious emissions-cutting target while the United States, Canada, EU, Britain and Japan all sharply stepped up their pledges.

Canada is aiming for a reduction of 40 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels, while the US has a target of up to 52 per cent.

“For years, the Australian government told the world that was all too hard,” Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen told reporters at a televised media conference in Canberra.

“We send the message to the rest of the world, to our friends and allies, that we’re partners in tackling the climate emergency. We send the message to Australians that we seek to end the climate wars, as the Prime Minister said,” Mr Bowen added.

The push to slash emissions more rapidly comes as the country is facing a major power crisis caused by planned and unplanned coal-fired generator outages, which have driven up demand for gas-fired generation just as global gas prices have skyrocketed.

Mr Bowen said the crisis highlighted the need to speed up, not slow down, work on the regulations needed to encourage more investment in renewable energy.

‘Clear winds of change’ in Southeast Asia

From pv magazine 05/2022

Siemens released its “Asia Pacific Energy Transition Readiness Index” in April, and it reported that the region scores very low on the index, at 25%. It said this represents a “solid foundation, but there is a still a long way to go.” One of the key findings was that policy settings need to be addressed. You have been very critical of public policy in support of renewable energy adoption in Southeast Asia. What’s your reaction to this score from Siemens?

The Siemens result isn’t a surprise because if you look at the actual deployment of renewable energy, then Southeast Asia is a laggard. However, I think that we can now finally detect very clear winds of change. I will take you through a quick tour of the region to explain that a bit further.

Starting with the richest country in Southeast Asia, Singapore. In October 2021, Singapore issued a request for proposal (RfP) for companies to tender to supply it with renewable energy and stated its goal that at least 30% of its electricity supply should come from renewables by 2035, while releasing expert studies that its power sector can go net zero by 2050. That is seismic change in the positioning of Singapore in terms of renewable energy. Previously, Singapore was always saying that it didn’t have space [for renewable energy], because it is a small country. Now it has moved decisively to rely on renewable energy nonetheless and issue an RfP to developers to build that capacity around Singapore and then export it to Singapore.

Vietnam, as you know, has already been at the vanguard because it achieved a record-speed deployment of renewable energy in 2019/20/21 – and Vietnam is now up there with the best of the world in terms of what it is doing on renewables.

The Philippines is also in very good shape because it has legally binding Renewable Portfolio Standard obligations imposed on the utilities. These force the utilities over time to increase their renewable energy percentage. So, when we talk about Southeast Asia, I think that Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines are now in line with the most progressive countries on renewable energy.

If those three are the leaders, how would you describe the laggards?

In terms of the big markets, there is Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. I would say in all three cases we are seeing clear movement as well, although there are no overarching nor ambitious goals that have been announced. Indonesia has had a goal for a while, but it is not delivering on it on the ground – however, we do see things changing at the developer level across the country. In Thailand we see developers gearing up for a change in the posture of the regulator. And Malaysia has been making some progress on renewables.

We should layer into this what is going on in the gas markets. A lot of these countries are highly dependent on gas. For example, 95% of Singapore’s electricity is powered by natural gas. A large proportion [of electricity generation] is similarly dependent on gas, such as in Thailand. With gas multiplying in price by anywhere between a factor of two and 10, it is very clear that people are taking another look at the sun and the wind. I expect all of these countries to ramp up their efforts because of the volatility in the gas markets, on which a lot of them are dependent. Out of all these countries, only Indonesia is energy independent.

And while Indonesia’s energy independence is based on coal, there was a recent report from Rystad Energy that noted that gas production in the region has been declining for many years and will never recover.

That’s correct and strengthens the argument: The volatility of supply and price of natural gas is a reality all of ASEAN are aware of today and thinking through.

Something that was promising but appears to have been snuffed out, was the 1 GW solar auction in Myanmar. The recent military coup has stalled progress on the successful projects awarded in the tender. Do you have any information as to whether the solar development plans will get back on track?

I think you have to ask some of the developers who were bidding to find out more. But the short of it is that Myanmar became unbankable, and it doesn’t have anything to do with renewable energy itself, but because of political risk. But I should note that even TotalEnergies stopped investing in fossil fuels in Myanmar. And if Total, which is notorious for investing in all sorts of high-risk projects and countries, is not investing in Myanmar, then I am not sure that renewables has anything to do with that conversation at all.

Looking at Indonesia, I am aware that the International Energy Agency (IEA) has been doing a lot of work with the Indonesian government. How encouraging is that kind of work?

It is encouraging! And a lot of people have been working closely with the Indonesian government, effectively nudging them forward but also counteracting a lot of the propaganda that comes from the coal industry against renewables.

Activity on the ground doesn’t lie, and what we do see is small Indonesian renewable energy developers popping up all over the place and starting to develop deals, in a way that we were not seeing even a year ago. That is a very good sign because it means that the country is communicating that it is turning the corner on renewables. Usually, you need to watch what the locals are doing to get an inkling as to what the trend might be. That certainly was not the case a year ago. So, the IEA and everyone else working with the government helps, because it helps set the direction of travel.

In Indonesia, there is state-owned PLN, a vertically integrated utility. That is not an uncommon situation in Southeast Asia. Do you see that as being a positive or an inhibitor of renewable energy development in the region? Because we know that these kinds of utilities have a captive market and would want to maintain it.

Personally, I think it is neutral. If we contrast Vietnam with Indonesia, both have the same type of setup. You have PLN in Indonesia and EVN in Vietnam and both have monopoly positions. However, Vietnam built renewables at the fastest pace globally for a couple of years, while Indonesia did nothing. So, it is not just about the structure of your utility system for the installation of renewable energy. But there are also liberalised energy markets that work better than others. It is certainly one factor, but it is neither the leading factor nor the least important.

Much more importantly, it is about political will. What we need in Indonesia is to have the political will to make that decisive turn to renewables, so that the monopoly government owned utility gets with the program. It is not going to do it of itself and on its own for precisely the reasons that you mentioned.

And from Vietnam, can we deduce that when given the right signals in terms of the adoption of renewables, that things can move very quickly?

Yes we can. All it took in Vietnam was political will and a determination to accelerate renewable energy deployment. Then, it happened, very fast, because renewable energy is cheaper and cleaner and preferred by local communities.

Author: Jonathan Gifford

New solar module for pavement applications

Image: Platio Solar

Hungary’s Platio Solar has developed a new PV module line featuring monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells with clear or opal glass.

From pv magazine

Hungary-based Platio Solar launched new solar modules for PV pavement applications at the recent Smarter E event in Munich, Germany.

“They rely on a new frame structure that provides better protection for the glass surface,” Marketing Manager Helga Ruscsák told pv magazine. “They can be used for pavement, terraces, driveways, sidewalks, parks, bicycle roads, marinas, and low traffic roads, as well as for other industrial and off-grid applications.”

The modules come in variants featuring conventional monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells, with a choice of clear or opal glass. All of the products measure 353 mm x 353 mm x 41 mm and weigh 6.5 kg.

The polycrystalline products feature 156 mm x 156 mm 18.6%-efficient solar cells, with a nominal power of 18.2 W. It has an open-circuit voltage of 2.66 V and a short-circuit current of 8.9 A.

The monocrystalline panels have a power conversion efficiency of 22.3%, an open-circuit voltage of 2.72 V, and a short-circuit current of 8.89 A. They are fabricated with four cells measuring 158.7 mm x 158.7 mm.

The panels are covered by 10 mm of tempered glass treated with an acid-etched pattern. They are also equipped with a frame made of a polymer composite based on low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with matrix-forming material.

“The frame is made out of 100% recycled plastic,” Ruscsák said.

All the modules have a maximum allowed vehicle wheel load of 2 tons per module. The manufacturer claims a vehicle with a maximum weight of 8 tons could drive on the modules.

“We do not intend to build solar highways or solar roads with our products,” said Ruscsák.

Platio Solar said the solar cells have the same lifecycle of those used in conventional panels, despite being exposed to mechanical stress.

“Several tests have been performed at this regard during the CE certification process,” Ruscsák said, noting that the modules have a low-voltage system, which makes walking on them a safe option.

Author: Emiliano Bellini

Singapore and Indonesia enjoy strong ties, can do more together in green and digital economy: Lawrence Wong

Mr Lawrence Wong was speaking in an interview with Singapore media at the end of his four-day visit to Indonesia. Image: MCI

From The Straits Times

JAKARTA – Singapore and Indonesia enjoy strong relations underpinned by mutual confidence and trust, and as both countries recover from the pandemic, there is much more they and their people can do together, Singapore’s Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said on Friday (May 20).

On the economic front, businesses can look beyond Batam, Bintan and Karimun, the main islands closest to Singapore collectively known as BBK, and venture to other regions, including Central Java, as well as beyond traditional sectors such as manufacturing and infrastructure to the digital economy and the green economy, he said.

Both sides can also do more to encourage exchanges between their people, especially among students and youth, now that borders are open and flights have resumed, he said, adding that both sides would like to resume greater air connectivity.

Mr Wong was speaking in an interview with Singapore media at the end of his four-day visit to Indonesia, his first since helming the finance portfolio in May 2021.

Mr Wong was also announced as leader of the People’s Action Party’s fourth-generation, or 4G, team last month, putting him in line to be Singapore’s next prime minister – a point noted in Indonesian media reports on his visit this week.

He said his interactions with his counterpart, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, have been very good, and that the visit was a good opportunity for him to meet a broader range of Indonesian leaders, interact with them and get to know them better.

“Overall, on the bilateral front, our relations are certainly in good order. We have had very close cooperation with Indonesia across many fields for many years. In the last two years, we have continued to strengthen our cooperation, especially working together to tackle the pandemic,” he said.

“We have also in recent years resolved certain longstanding bilateral issues, namely the agreements we have on extradition, defence and the Flight Information Region. We are now waiting for these agreements to be ratified,” he added.

“On the whole, it is a relationship that is underpinned by mutual confidence and trust. On that basis, we can certainly do much more together.”

Mr Wong met Dr Sri Mulyani as well as Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan on Friday (May 20).

Earlier in the week, he met several key ministers, including Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir, and Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno.

He also met Bank Indonesia governor Perry Warjiyo, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, Kendal Regent Dico Ganinduto and Semarang Mayor Hendrar Prihadi.

Their discussions touched on potential cooperation in new areas, among others.

“On the whole, it has been a very fruitful visit. And I look forward to doing my part to build on the strong foundations we have and take our bilateral relations to even greater heights,” he said.

In green finance and the green economy, he noted that both Singapore and Indonesia are determined to achieve net-zero emissions and accelerate the green transition.

“Indonesia has many more opportunities to do so, because it has got the ability to embark on more renewable energy projects, and more scale to do so than Singapore,” he said.

It also has the opportunity to do nature-based carbon mitigation projects, which Singapore will not be able to do on a similar scale, he added.

Thus, there are opportunities for both sides to work together to finance these projects or collaborate on them. “There are companies, businesses and investors who are interested in this space, and who will be keen to collaborate with Indonesian partners on such projects.”

There are similar opportunities for mutually beneficial exchanges in the digital economy, he said, noting that the Indonesian start-up space has become a lot more vibrant in recent years because of the size of the economy and the strong entrepreneurial culture.

He cited Indonesian start-up eFishery, which is part of a growing aquaculture sector.

He noted that Singapore does have research and development on how barramundi and other fish can become more resilient, and on achieving higher productivity on fish farms. “We have limited space, but we can certainly tie up with Indonesian companies to use the technology and expand and do more in Indonesia,” he added.

“Indeed, such partnerships are happening in the digital space, in foodtech, in fintech, in a whole range of the digital economy,” he said. “The opportunities for collaboration are truly immense.”

He also noted similarities in the food culture on both sides, and one businessman hoped there could be more restaurants selling Singapore food in Indonesia.

“That is certainly one area that can help to strengthen cultural and social ties, and perhaps there might even be economic possibilities,” Mr Wong said.

And with borders reopening, he hopes direct flights can resume from Singapore to Indonesian destinations such as Semarang.

He said: “The airlines would need some time to catch up with demand. There are constraints with supply and crew, manpower… but they are ramping up, and I hope before too long, we will be able to get the capacity increased and we will be able to resume more direct flights. And hopefully, that will also help to bring down air fares.”

Author: Arlina Arshad