SAF installing more than 300 smart meters in 3 camps to push units to cut water, electricity use

The smart meters will track data on water and electricity consumption, which unit commanders can view on a dashboard. Source: CNA/Gaya Chandramohan

From Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: More than 300 smart meters are being installed at Jurong Camp, Paya Lebar Airbase and Changi Naval Base in a pilot to encourage units to reduce their water and electricity consumption, amid a broader sustainability push by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

The idea is to make units more aware of their consumption, and to possibly push reductions through “friendly competition” and “sustainability challenges” in future, said Brigadier-General (BG) Kelvin Fan, the SAF’s Chief Sustainability Officer.

The pilot is expected to be completed by 2023 before more meters are rolled out to other camps and bases, added the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) in a press release on Wednesday (Mar 2).

The initiative was first announced by MINDEF during its Committee of Supply debate in 2021, where it also outlined other green targets.

These included reducing the growth of overall carbon emissions by two-thirds by 2030, cutting water consumption by 10 per cent and waste generation by 30 per cent by 2030.

Using meters to cut consumption

The smart meters can provide water and electricity consumption data on a daily – or even hourly – basis, compared to previous systems that provided it on a monthly basis.

The Defence and Science Technology Agency (DSTA) will use data analytics to analyse consumption patterns, while the data will be aggregated on a dashboard that unit commanders can view, said MINDEF.

“With access to the data, these commanders will have sight of their unit’s performance in comparison to other units, and can take concrete steps to encourage responsible green behaviour among the servicemen in order to achieve desirable outcomes in green efforts,” it said.

In particular, BG Fan said “peer pressure” is one way to “incentivise excellence”, citing examples of other reported parameters such as a unit’s fitness test results or operational readiness.

He also said: “There are many ideas that we can have to shape (behaviour) and we are learning from best practices – things like sustainability challenges.

“You can have friendly competitions between different camps, different units and so on. These are things we are still thinking (about), but we are developing our ideas.”

Lieutenant Colonel Quek Shi Jian, Head of Logistics, 3 Div, said that since the pilot began at Jurong Camp 1, the camp’s soldiers have been “more conscious of their utility usage and more responsible for the use of precious resources like water”.

“Our camp commanders have also been proactively monitoring usage patterns to study consumption behaviours in hopes of encouraging good and sustainable habits among servicemen,” he said.

Solar panels and electric vehicles

In addition to the smart meters, about 28,000 solar panels have been installed across SAF buildings.

By 2022, about a quarter of its camps will have solar panels, delivering 20 mega-watt peak of electricity – equivalent to the consumption of about 5,000 four-room flats.

And by 2025, two-thirds of its military camps will have solar panels generating 50 mega-watt peak of electricity, said MINDEF.

The SAF also earlier pledged to replace its entire administrative fleet with electric vehicles – a process that will begin this year.

Charging stations will be built at Kranji Camp III and Gombak Base as part of implementation trials, said MINDEF.

Reducing waste

As for efforts to reduce food waste, MINDEF noted that SAF has reduced this to 1 per cent.

Food waste recycling is also being done in 14 cookhouses. In this process, food waste is collected and sent to the Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant, where it is mixed with used water sludge to produce biogas for energy generation.

The remaining cookhouses will join the programme when the National Environment Agency’s Tuas Nexus Plant is completed in 2025, said MINDEF.

Overall, BG Fan said several of SAF’s sustainability initiatives “will be proliferated so long as they work well, and they don’t compromise operational readiness, or lead to a spike in spending”.

External advisory panel

The SAF has also set up an external advisory panel for environmental sustainability to ensure its “efforts are guided by science, data and evidence”.

Chaired by Professor Tan Thiam Soon from the Singapore Institute of Technology, the panel will include 12 other experts from various domains such as green energy, sustainable infrastructure and waste management.

The panel will provide assessments and recommendations for MINDEF and SAF’s sustainability efforts, and share knowledge on technology and best practices.

The first meeting, which took place in February, was a “productive” one, said BG Fan. “We look forward to partnering with them and benefiting from the expertise, experience and ideas throughout our sustainability journey.”

Author: Cheryl Lin


Large emitters can buy carbon credits to offset carbon tax bill from 2024

Businesses will be able to use “high quality, international carbon credits” to offset up to 5 per cent of taxable emissions, in lieu of paying the carbon tax. Source: ST FILE

From The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Large emitters in Singapore will from 2024 be able to buy international carbon credits to reduce the carbon tax they have to pay.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said on Friday (Feb 18) that businesses will be able to use “high-quality, international carbon credits” to offset up to 5 per cent of taxable emissions, in lieu of paying the carbon tax.

“This will moderate the impact for companies,” he said. “It will also help to create local demand for high-quality carbon credits and catalyse the development of well-functioning and regulated carbon markets.”

Singapore’s carbon tax applies to all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions in a year.

The current rate, which will be in place until next year, is $5 per tonne of emissions. But this will go up to $25 in 2024 and 2025, $45 in 2026 and 2027, before reaching $50 to $80 per tonne by 2030, Mr Wong announced on Friday.

“I appreciate that some businesses and households may require support as they adjust to the carbon tax increase,” he said.

Partially offsetting tax liabilities with international carbon credits would mean that firms can shrink their tax bill if they buy credits generated by, say, a forest conservation project in Indonesia.

Essentially, it means that a company here would have the option to pay another entity to reduce emissions in another jurisdiction where it may be cheaper to do so.

Mr Wong also said the Government is mindful that firms in emissions-intensive and trade-exposed sectors may face higher costs than those in countries with lower or no carbon tax.

Such sectors include, for instance, the petrochemical sector. Singapore is one of the top 10 exporters of refined oil products in Asia, according to the Economic Development Board.

“Some firms will also need a little more time to make the necessary reduction in emissions or investment in cleaner technologies,” he said.

To this end, the Government will in 2024 be implementing a transition framework to support such firms and manage the near-term impact of the carbon tax on their competitiveness, said Mr Wong.

The framework provides existing companies with allowances for a share of their emissions, which means they would not have to pay carbon taxes for these allowances.

“The allowances will be determined based on efficiency standards and decarbonisaton targets,” Mr Wong said.

“This will help mitigate the impact on business costs, while still encouraging decarbonisation.”

For households, Mr Wong said the higher carbon tax will be felt mainly through an increase in utility bills. At a carbon tax rate of $25 per tonne of emissions, a household living in a four-room Housing Board flat can expect to see a $4 increase in monthly utility bills, he said.

“We will provide support, such as additional U-Save rebates, to help cushion the impact during the transition,” he said.

More details will be announced next year ahead of the carbon tax increase in 2024, Mr Wong said.

The National Climate Change Secretariat urged households to practise energy-saving habits and switch to energy-efficient appliances to mitigate cost impact.

Eligible households can tap the Climate Friendly Households Programme to make the switch to more energy- or water-efficient appliances.

Author: Audrey Tan


Australia passes 25GW of installed PV

Source: Australian PV Institute

From pv magazine Australia

Australia has hit a historic milestone – it has reached 25GW of installed solar capacity. As the Australian PV Institute noted on Monday, that’s more solar per capita than anywhere else in the world.

With a population of about 25 million, Australia now has nearly 1kW of PV installed per person – easily retaining its world-leading status.

By the end of 2021, there were more than 3.04 million PV installations in Australia, with a combined capacity of over 25.3GW, the Australian PV Institute noted.

Australia’s solar market has gone through surging periods of growth since the government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme commenced on April 1, 2001. Between 2001 and 2010, the solar market’s growth sat around 15%, before a period of far more rapid growth from 2010 to 2013.

After stabilizing between 2014 and 2015, the market is trending upwards, driven by residential installations. Rooftop solar today plays an important role in Australia’s energy mix, contributing 7.9% to the National Electricity Market (NEM) demand in 2021, up from 6.4% in 2020 and 5.2% in 2019.

According to figures published by the Climate Council in February, renewable energy generation in the National Electricity Market increased by almost 20% in 2021, with renewables supplying 31.4% of electricity generation last year.

In South Australia, these percentages are far more staggering. In the final days of 2021, the state ran for almost one week on renewable energy. South Australia’s 156-hour stint powered by wind, rooftop solar and utility-scale solar farms, firmed by fractional amounts of gas, was considered record-breaking for comparable grids around the world.

Percentage of dwellings with PV
Source: Australian PV Institute

Author: Bella Peacock


Green bond sales to surge in Asia-Pacific as region lays out path to net-zero

View of a coal-fired power station in Shanghai, China
Source: owngarden/Moment via Getty Images

From S&P Global

Green bond sales in the Asia-Pacific region are likely to rise in 2022 as major economies lay out roadmaps to net-zero emissions and invest in projects to reduce carbon intensity.

Major regional economies, including China, India and Australia, announced their net-zero targets in 2021. Their commitments to environment protection are already showing in green bonds issued last year. The region sold $185.22 billion of green debt in 2021, a 117% increase from 2020, according to Climate Bonds Initiative, or CBI, a U.K.-based green debt tracker. Green bonds are used to fund climate-related or environmental projects and are an important part of the net-zero journey, along with social and sustainability-linked debt.

Most emerging Asian countries will need to plan for a transition to greener energy to avoid straining their economies and creating hardships for their people as a sudden switch can cause energy shortages, said Clifford Lee, global head of fixed income at DBS Bank. “The transition process must also be sustainable,” Lee said.

Green debt in Asia-Pacific can easily double in 2022, Lee said, noting that about $450 billion of bonds are not currently labeled as green by issuers, although they finance activities that would be considered climate-aligned, according to DBS-commissioned research released last year by CBI. “If a good proportion of these are refinanced as green bonds, the growth would be exponential,” Lee said.

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Planned transition

Power shortages last year in China and India, among the world’s biggest polluters, underscored the importance of a planned transition to cleaner energy, especially as grids struggled to keep up with a sudden surge in demand caused by weather.

Instead of being a major deterrent for countries to achieve their carbon-neutrality targets, the power shortages coupled with higher coal prices may act as a catalyst for adoption of renewable energy over the medium term, said Love Sharma, head of India and Middle East credit at Lombard Odier Investment Managers.

“With more focus on renewable energy as well as associated grid infrastructure, we believe this will only be positive for further green and sustainability bond issuances from the region and in turn help the transition towards carbon-neutral Asia-Pacific economies,” Sharma said.

Investments into smart and reliable grid infrastructure and renewable power that can be available round the clock via batteries or hybrid models are likely to grow as generation costs decline, Sharma said.

India’s richest tycoons, Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, who both owe their fortunes to carbon, have committed nearly $150 billion of planned investments in green energy projects including solar and wind power, battery storage and the so-called blue hydrogen, which is made from fossil fuel but captures the CO2 formed during its production. Indonesia’s largest power provider, Perusahaan Perseroan (Persero) PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara, has committed $35 billion for hydropower, solar and geothermal plants, according to an October 2021 Nikkei Asia report.

Corporates lead

Corporates were the largest issuers of green bonds in 2021, reverting back to a pre-pandemic trend. Bonds issued by sovereigns also had a notable uptick, with governments issuing 6.83% of green bonds in 2021 compared with 2.08% in the prior year. India announced Feb. 1 it will issue sovereign green bonds for the first time to mobilize resources for green infrastructure, although the government did not specify the amount it may sell.

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China was the largest issuer of green bonds in Asia-Pacific with $66.09 billion, followed distantly by South Korea at $12.57 billion. Japan, Singapore and India were the other major issuers. Asia-Pacific was the fastest-growing region for green bond sales globally in 2021, according to CBI data. The region issued 26.28% of the world’s green debt by volume last year.

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Countries in Asia-Pacific may also lean on innovative green finance instruments in their journey toward net-zero in the coming years. Transition bonds, which aim to fund issuers’ efforts to improve or reduce environmental impact or cut carbon emissions, may emerge this year, said Jay Lee, a partner at law firm Simmons & Simmons.

“They are often issued by companies which would not normally qualify for green bonds,” Simmons & Simmons’ Lee said. “Good candidate companies would be large carbon-emitting industries such as oil and gas, iron and steel, chemicals, aviation and shipping.”

Author: Rebecca Isjwara Rehan Ahmad