29 November 2023

On 26 October 2023, the Energy Market Authority (“EMA”) announced that it will be establishing new emission standards for new and repowered fossil fuel-fired generation units to facilitate the deployment of clean and efficient power generation units in Singapore. Over the next decade, new and repowered generation units will be required to enter the system to meet increasing electricity demand and replace outgoing ones as ageing power plants reach their end of life and are gradually retired.

On 14 November 2023, EMA issued a press release further to the developments announced during the Singapore International Energy Week 2023 announcing new initiatives to meet electricity demand.

This article summarises both these EMA announcements.

Power generation units’ emission standards

EMA expects both new and repowered power generation units to utilise the best-in-class technology available and are as emissions-efficient as possible to help reduce the power sector’s carbon footprint. Repowered units are generation units that have undergone significant works to replace their critical components.

Under new two-tier emission standards, generation units which are expected to run regularly will need to meet the Tier 1 standard, requiring units to stay within a 0.355 tCO2e/MWh emission intensity limit. This is around 10% more carbon-efficient than the existing generation units in Singapore. Generation units that are expected to run only periodically can opt to fall under the Tier 2 standard, which requires units to stay within an emission cap each year, to allow the entry of other generation technologies that may be less efficient but necessary to provide energy security and flexibility in the electricity grid. To manage their overall emissions, Tier 2 units must limit their operation duration each year to keep within the emission cap.

EMA will also require both Tier 1 and Tier 2 units to be at least 30% hydrogen-ready by volume, with the ability to be retrofitted to become 100% hydrogen-ready in future. This will ensure that Singapore’s new power generation units can further reduce their emissions when hydrogen becomes more commercially viable.

Leveraging power from electric vehicles to meet electricity demand for Singapore

Electric vehicles (“EVs”) are expected to soon be able to serve as “power banks” for Singapore’s energy system to help meet the nation’s electricity peak demand. A vehicle-to-grid (“V2G”) programme led by transport operator Strides will involve 15 commercial vans and 10 V2G-enabled EV chargers. 

V2G technology transforms EVs from just transport vehicles into mobile energy-storage units. With the right charging systems in place, EVs can both take in power to charge themselves and give back excess power to the electricity grid when needed, enabling EVs to share their unused battery capacity with the grid, helping fill gaps in renewable energy generation that can be unpredictable. This enhances Singapore’s power grid reliability and will go a long way to support the country’s aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Earning rewards by saving electricity

A new initiative will empower consumers in electricity conservation and consumption. Targeted to be launched by second half of 2024, a Residential Demand Response (R-DR) programme by EMA and the SP Group (“SP”) will enable both residential and non-residential consumers that have smart meters to reduce electricity consumption during peak periods and get rewarded for doing so. The programme will use the SP mobile application to send alerts to participating households to temporarily reduce or defer their electricity consumption. Participants will in turn receive benefits such as financial rewards. Details will be released when ready in 2024.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the EMA website www.ema.gov.sg: