Sustainability in 2020 and Beyond

With rising awareness of the environment, companies everywhere are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their power bills. This is further driven by new environmental controls to monitor and tax carbon emissions, such as Singapore’s Carbon Pricing Act (CPA) and its accompanying Regulations which came into operation at the start of 2019.

High Angle View Of Illuminated Factory Against Sky At Night

Stepping Outside Limitations

But while renewable energy is the only viable long-term strategy where sustainability is concerned, small nation-states such as Singapore have limited access to it. However, this has not stopped it from drawing up an ambitious plan to increase its solar capacity by more than seven times by 2030, bringing it from the current 260-megawatt peak (MWp) to 2-gigawatt peak (GWp).

To achieve this target, the government plans to accelerate the deployment of solar panels, ranging from the rooftops of HDB flats, mounted in a vertical position on walls, and even floating panels on reservoirs or at offshore sea space locations. The last two aren’t pie in the sky projects, either, but are being deployed at Tengeh Reservoir and along the Strait of Johor.

Separately, an ambitious plan to pipe in renewable energy from Australia is currently on the drawing board. Powered by vast swathes of solar panels in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, the private sector initiative could conceivably provide as much as a fifth of Singapore’s power requirements.

Bustling city

Digital Approaches

Of course, enhancing energy efficiency and resiliency is equally important. This is where digitization of power assets plays a part. Done properly, it will allow businesses to better optimize the integration of energy resources for improved energy efficiency, reduce waste and better manage energy consumption in general.

For this to happen, a network of battery energy storage systems must be established to ensure reliable energy despite increasing dependence on renewable energy – which can vary widely due to weather conditions. Microgrids are used to link and coordinate energy resources such as solar installations and energy storage systems, resulting in greater flexibility and scalability with the grid.

On that front, it is no surprise that Singapore is developing a virtual power plant to offer greater flexibility and scalability to the power grid. Aside from aggregating renewable and energy storage resources for greater reliability, it will also offer better demand forecasting and optimisation algorithms that account for the local power grid and market conditions.

Meanwhile, companies like Schneider Electric have more than 80 Smart Factories, built or refitted to achieve efficiency gains for their supply chain. For example, they have seen a 15% reduction in energy consumption through power, automation, and software, thanks to the implementation of EcoStruxure solutions. These are improvements all industrial companies could make.

Schneider Electric has been a leading contributor to the fight against climate change for the past 15 years by implementing its own energy management and industrial automation offers across its operations, by supporting its clients in achieving their low-carbon and efficiency objectives and by allowing more than 24 million people to gain access to electricity.

You can learn more about how companies are leveraging digitally-driven approaches to revolutionize operations and transform their business by checking out the Digital Transformation Benefits Report from Schneider Electric here.

Article by Rahul Mehta, Vice President, Power Products, Singapore, Schneider Electric