Singapore could be 25% solar-powered by 2025

Eco-Business
Singapore could be 25% solar-powered by 2025
Robin Hicks
25 October 2017

The sunny city-state has announced a plan to install photovoltaic panels wherever it can, including at sea. It would need to double solar capacity every two years to reach its potential of 2 gigawatts peak by 2025.

Solar could meet as much as a quarter of Singapore’s energy demands by 2025, according to a white paper by the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS).

This figure was noted by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in a speech to open Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) on Monday.

He said that Singapore has the potential—without subsidies—to generate 2 gigawatts peak (GWp) of solar power in the next eight years.

The city-state currently generates 95 per cent of its 8 gigawatts of power from natural gas, and due to natural limitations has no potential for wind or hydropower—solar is Singapore’s only viable renewable energy option at present.

Singapore’s official solar target is 350 megawatts peak (MWp) by 2020, and 1 GWp “beyond 2020”.

The country’s current solar power capacity is 140 MWp, up from just 0.4 MWp in 2008. Peak power refers to the output achieved by a solar module under full solar radiation.

In a panel debate to discuss Singapore’s solar ambitions at the Asia Clean Energy Summit on Tuesday, Christophe Inglin, managing director of Singapore solar firm Energetix, said that hitting 2 GWp mark would be “no walk in the park, calculating that solar capacity in Singapore would need to double every two years to do so.

Aiming high

Singapore’s small size means that the city-state cannot rely only on land to scale up solar, noted Dr Thomas Reindl, deputy chief executive of Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS).

SERIS is studying how to convert the sides of skyscrapers into solar energy-producing panels, but it is floating solar technology that holds the potential to increase energy capacity quickly, Reindl noted.

He added that Singapore’s 17 reservoirs have the potential to generate about a half a gigawatt of electricity, and solar panels could also be placed at sea, as long as they’re close to shore where the water is calm and clear of shipping lanes.

The relocation of Singapore’s shipping port from Tanjong Pagar to Tuas could free up vital space for floating panels, Reindl noted.

However, he conceded that a phenomenon known as biofouling—that is, the accumulation of microorganisms on wet surfaces—is another consideration for offshore solar, as Singapore has some of the most biologically rich waters in the world.

Monday’s announcement by the government included agreements for solar energy storage that will be vital to solve the problem of intermittency associated with renewable energy, as the city-state receives a lot of cloud cover.

Singapore has awarded deals to companies including Red Dot Power and CW Group to install 4.4 megawatt hours of storage solutions in sites connected to the grid.

The Energy Market Authority, Singapore’s energy regulator, also plans to make it easier for consumers to generate their own solar power and sell excess energy back to the grid, Sim Ann, senior minister of state for trade and ministry, told delegates on Monday.

The process of doing this will be simplified when Singapore’s energy market is liberalised in the second half of next year, enabling consumers to choose renewable energy to power their homes and participate in the energy market.

The one-hectare floating solar PV test bed on Tengeh Reservoir. A range of solar cells and flotation devices are being tested for environmental impact and efficiency.

Though some at the event were sceptical that Singapore could reach 2 gigawatt-peak by 2025, Reindl offered some perspective by pointing out that China is now installing solar at a rate of 2.5 gigawatts per month.

“If the framework is right, and if the economics work out, the speed of installation can be absolutely mind-blowing,” he said.

#Sg #singapore #singapura #thelioncity #littlereddot

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Singapore could be 25% solar-powered by 2025

Are “Non-Traditional Families” Broken?

I on Singapore
Are “Non-Traditional Families” Broken?
IonSG
13 October 2017

In a letter to the Straits Times, “Don’t undermine families when championing issues” (7 October 2017), Mr Christopher Goh “as a husband and a father”, expressed his concerns at the joint report on gender discrimination submitted by various non-governmental organisations to the United Nations.

Among other things, he wrote:

Similarly, the call to remove all “legal and policy” distinctions between single/unmarried parents and the traditional family nucleus unwisely legitimises broken marriages and relationships, and will impose tremendous costs on the state and society.

Such a move is the start of a slippery slope that will invariably lead to more broken families.

This drew a response from Ms Tomoe Suzuki in her letter, “Non-traditional families are different, not ‘broken'” (13 October 2017):

While Mr Christopher Goh Chun Kiat’s dedication to family is admirable, as the daughter of a single mother, I found his description of other families as “broken” deeply problematic (Don’t undermine families when championing issues; Oct 7).

That label assumes that something has failed with that family simply because of how it is structured, based on parental marital status and number of parents.

However, a family is a family when there is love. Families that fall outside the “normal” structure are not broken; they are merely different.

Contrary to Mr Goh’s assertion, I would argue that it is the presence of the legal and policy distinctions between single/unmarried parents and the traditional family nucleus that imposes tremendous costs on the state and society.

The married family unit with children is granted various forms of assistance by the state, especially access to housing. Single parents, however, have many obstacles to surmount in order to have housing.

For instance, the income cap for rental housing is $1,500. This is a catch-22 situation for single parents, as they cannot increase their earnings to better support their families, for fear of losing their housing.

Discriminatory legislation and policies serve to compound existing inequalities in Singapore, and low-income single/unmarried parents and their children are hit the hardest.

My mother and I were fortunate enough to be able to move in with my grandparents after my mother divorced.

But not everyone has this kind of privilege in terms of familial resources and support.

If we wish not to undermine families, then let us support them instead of invalidating them.

While the legal and policy issues are certainly important and have wide-reaching implications (which I have addressed in other posts), this post will focus only on a narrow question, namely: Are “non-traditional families” “broken”?

Two Views of “Family”

As explained in “The Family on Trial: Two views of “family””, at the heart of the debate lies two very different views of “family”.

The classical view affirms the intrinsic link between marriage and family. Marriage is regarded as a comprehensive, exclusive and permanent union, based on the sexual complementary of man and woman, which is intrinsically ordered to produce new life. This comprehensive union of husband and wife, together with their offspring, form a family. This is sometimes referred to as the natural family unit, such as under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There is an inherent biological connection in the natural family unit under the classical view.

The revisionist view, on the other hand, regards the family as rooted in commitment between people. Sometimes, the word “love” is used. Therefore, this does not only include the “traditional” family structure of father, mother and child(ren), but includes those led by grandparents, single parents, and same-sex couples. Flesh-and-blood ties may or may not exist under the revisionist view. If they do, they are not necessarily relevant either.

There are good reasons to support and affirm the classical view of the family. Most fundamentally, this is the model which best protects the rights of children. Every child has the right to know and be cared for by his or her father and mother, as far as possible.

As the Singapore Court of Appeal opined in CX v CY (minor:custody and access) [2005] 3 SLR(R) 690 at [26], “There can be no doubt that the welfare of a child is best secured by letting him enjoy the love, care and support of both parents.”

Are “Non-traditional Families” “Broken”?

What about “non-traditional families”, such as single mother households?

There can certainly be no doubt about the beauty of the natural bond between a mother and her child. In the case of Soon Peck Wah v Woon Che Chye [1997] 3 SLR(R) 430, the Singapore Court of Appeal had this to say about motherhood:

45 … The bond between the natural mother and her child is one of the most unexplainable wonders of human nature. It should never be taken for granted or slighted. We have all heard of the story of the mother who fought a tiger with her bare hands to save her child from the ferocious beast. Such is the love and sacrifice of the maternal instinct. Since the beginning of civilisation to this age of consumer materialism, the mother’s love for her child remains just as strong and unchanging. This court would be doing a disservice to justice and humanity if it turned a blind eye to the most fundamental bond of mankind – between a mother and her child, by taking the child away from the mother…

By equal measure, the natural bond between a father and child is a great marvel of nature and should also be affirmed and respected.

It is important to bear in mind that single or unwed mothers do not land in their position overnight.

A woman may find herself in such a position in one of three ways:

1. Out-of-wedlock childbearing;
2. Divorce; or
3. Death of a husband (i.e. being widowed).

In each of these cases, there can be no doubt that there has been a loss to the child, since a fundamental bond has been broken in the child’s life: the natural bond with the child’s father. In many ways, the mother of the child has also suffered loss in each of these circumstances.

I certainly salute Ms Suzuki’s mother and grandparents for their sacrifices, and appreciate Ms Suzuki speaking in honour of them. While it is not my place to speculate as to the reasons for her parents’ divorce, there can be no doubt (and certainly is affirmed in her letter) that great hardship is vested on a mother and child when the husband and father leaves the family.

Conclusion

So, are “non-traditional families” “broken”?

Yes.

When a child is separated from his or her father or mother, despite the natural bond that the child has with the two very people whose genetic material he or she inherits, there is a loss to the child in the breaking of those very fundamental bonds.

Likewise, whether a person becomes a single parent through out-of-wedlock childbearing, divorce or death of a spouse, a deep and personal bond is broken.

Of course, this is not to demean those in single parent households. Instead, just as we treat wounds with special care, tenderness and compassion, by recognising brokenness, society can learn to restore those wounds and begin to make things right.

#Sg #singapore #singapura #thelioncity #littlereddot

Are “Non-Traditional Families” Broken?