Opening Speech at National Energy Efficiency Conference 2021 - Ms Grace Fu
Speech by Ms Grace Fu, Minister For Sustainability and the Environment, at the National Energy Efficiency Conference (NEEC) On on 12 October 2021
1 Good afternoon. I am happy to join you here at this year's National Energy Efficiency Conference. Today, we recognise outstanding achievements in energy management and hear from some of the best in the industry on how they achieved their energy efficiency targets amidst this challenging time.
Addressing Climate Change in a Post-COVID World
2 The COVID-19 pandemic has overturned our lives in many ways. Businesses have been disrupted and systems have been put to the test, including food supply chains and healthcare systems. But such impacts will pale in comparison to what we are likely to experience if we do nothing to tackle climate change. With higher temperatures, we may see more pandemics and even more severe disruptions and irreversible damage.
3 Across the globe, we are already experiencing extreme weather. In September, Hurricane Ida unleashed floods and tornadoes in eastern US, causing not just deaths but also widespread damage and disruption to essential food, water, and energy supplies. Sea-level rise and temperature increases are serious challenges.
4 The latest IPCC reports showed, undeniably, the human footprint on global warming and climate change. Although Singapore emits just 0.1% of global carbon emissions, it is imperative that we do our part to fight climate change. We have pledged to peak emissions at 65 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent around 2030 and to halve this by 2050, with a view to achieving net zero emissions. At the beginning of this year, Singapore announced the Singapore Green Plan 2030 – a national roadmap to meet our goals. One of the key pillars under the Green Plan is "Energy Reset", where we will green our energy sources, and undergird this with energy efficiency to reduce demand. This will be critical for Singapore to transform into a low-carbon and energy-efficient economy.
5 For businesses, the case for investing in energy efficiency remains. While there are initial costs involved, energy efficiency projects will bear fruit in the form of lower operating costs, helping the corporate bottom line. Businesses thrive in stability and predictability. Energy efficiency projects reduce the business risk of exposure to volatile global energy markets and hence electricity prices.
Maintaining our Energy Efficiency Efforts
6 Even amidst the pandemic, Singapore has pressed on in our sustainability efforts. Substantial work has been done to identify energy efficiency opportunities.
7 The National Environment Agency (NEA) implemented the Energy Conservation Act, or ECA, in 2017 which require energy-intensive industrial facilities to conduct regular Energy Efficiency Opportunities Assessments. This would apply to close to 200 corporations to understand their energy performance and identify energy saving opportunities. These corporations collectively account for 80 per cent of our national primary energy use. The first submission of assessment reports are due at the end of this year. I understand that Energy Efficiency Opportunities Assessors and companies have been busy working on the reports. With information about potential savings through energy efficiency, companies can make better investments in a more sustainable future — helping their bottom line and the environment.
8 For small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, NEA has partnered the Singapore Institute of Technology, or SIT, to set up the Energy Efficiency Technology Centre — the EETC. This provides low-cost energy audits for the companies. Eight SMEs have taken advantage of EETC's services to understand potential energy savings on a total of 35 systems. I am glad that some are considering investing in the opportunities identified.
9 The EETC trains SIT engineering undergraduates to learn first-hand how energy audits are conducted. Such practical training is useful for students aspiring to take up a career related to energy efficiency and energy audits. I am glad to share that Energy Services Companies, or ESCOs, have expressed interest in hiring students who have undergone this attachment.
10 Such training programmes complement existing efforts to build capability for the local energy efficiency ecosystem. Over the years, we have built up a pool of competent engineers through the Singapore Certified Energy Manager and Energy Efficiency Opportunities Assessor certification schemes. I thank our partners, the Institution of Engineers and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore, for helping us build capability.
Gearing Up for a Sustainable Post-Pandemic Future
11 Even as companies deal with the near-term challenges of the pandemic, they must continue to invest in energy efficiency opportunities. This will help them prepare for any business uncertainty, as well as a future that is both economically and environmentally sustainable. As companies develop their sustainability strategies, they can glean inspiration from how others have advanced their energy efficiency goals.
Energy Efficiency National Partnership Award Winners
12 I congratulate the 13 Energy Efficiency National Partnership award winners, who are leading the industry by example in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability. Let me share some of their good work.
13 Concentrate Manufacturing Singaporemakes concentrates used in soft drinks by PepsiCo, its global parent company. The plant's energy efficiency projects1 helped reduce their energy intensity by 44 per cent2 from 2018 to 2021. This means annual savings of about 300 megawatt-hour of electricity.3
The company has committed to not just improving its energy intensity by 8 per cent annually, but also reducing absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 75 per cent by 2030. To drive greater commitment and awareness, the sustainability performance of the company is shared with all staff during fortnightly Townhall meetings. Employees who start energy savings initiatives are also recognised. For their efforts, Concentrate Manufacturing Singapore will receive the award for Excellence in Energy Management.
14 Another award recipient is Containers Printers, which provides innovative packaging solutions. Containers Printers installed solar panels on its rooftops in 2019, which currently provides 20 per cent of its electricity needs. By switching to cleaner energy, the company's carbon footprint has reduced by 800 tonnes per year. In 2020, Containers Printers tapped on NEA's Energy Efficiency Fund (E2F) grant to replace its fixed-speed air compressor with a variable speed air compressor, thereby halving4 the energy use of the compressor. Containers Printers also leveraged NEA's E2F grant to replace over 2,300 fluorescent tubes with LED lights, again halving energy usage5. These efforts have collectively resulted in around 710 megawatt-hour in annual energy savings, or $92,000 per year. For its efforts, Containers Printers will be receiving the award for Outstanding SME of the Year.
15 There is a good ecosystem in Singapore to support companies' journey towards a more sustainable future. There are ESCOs like Siemens Pte Ltd, the Outstanding Energy Services Provider of the Year award winner this year, which has been providing energy efficiency consultancy services to building and industrial sectors for more than 10 years. Knowing that capital costs can be the major hurdle for most implementation decisions, Siemens rolled out Energy Performance Contracting, where customers get to enjoy zero upfront cost while co-sharing the guaranteed energy savings with Siemens. There are also various government grants that companies can tap on such as the E2F, EDB's Resource Efficiency Grant and EMA's Genco Energy Efficiency Grant Call6.
16 Let me conclude. We must prepare for a post-crisis new normal, and harness energy and resource efficiency in the road to recovery. As the world moves towards a low-carbon future, which it must, economies that start investing in transforming their energy mix and improving energy efficiency will develop greater climate, energy and economic resilience. Companies, as the building blocks of economic activities, should embrace sustainable business practices now. This will allow us to harness future business opportunities and pave the way for a greener future for Singapore.
17 I wish everyone a fruitful conference.
Replacement of conventional metal halide lamps with LED lights in warehouse and production areas, and optimisation of their chiller plant ↩
0.35 kWh/kg in 2018 to 0.196 KWh/kg as of end June 21 ↩
Annual consumption of a 4-room HDB flat is 4,747.2 kWh, and monthly consumption is 395.6 kWh, based on EMA's statistics in Sep 2020 on average monthly household electricity consumption. ↩
49% savings. ↩
51% savings ↩
The second Genco Energy Efficiency Grant Call will close on 30 Sep 21. ↩