Singapore’s Green Plan 2030 could spearhead investments in solar sector

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Image: Sunseap

Singapore’s recently unveiled Green Plan 2030 could kickstart the country’s emerging solar sector, according to a new report from analyst Fitch Solutions.

The market research group assessed the a range of targets that make up the plan, including the deployment of 2GW of solar PV by 2030.

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The Green Plan sets out a target to quadruple Singapore’s solar fleet within the next four years, which includes covering Housing and Development Board properties with solar panels. The government has also set out a mission to be a “leading centre for green finance” both in Asia and worldwide, developing green finance investment solutions and building up knowledge in the sector.

Fitch said in a report that the strategy could “spearhead investments into cleaner infrastructure, which will be an increasingly important growth driver in the market over the longer term”.

It said that the country’s high solar irradiance makes the country “very attractive” to prospective developers, although the scarcity of land suitable for large-scale solar will mean that the majority of growth will come from rooftop or floating PV installations.

A number of multinational corporations are tapping into Singapore’s potential for solar through alternative developments. Tech giant Amazon said in March it will fund the development of 62MW of solar by procuring power from a network of ‘moveable’ installs that are to be developed by clean energy company Sunseap. Local utility Sembcorp is also working on a 60MW floating solar project, set to be among the world’s largest, after it was selected for the task by Singapore’s National Water Agency PUB.

Although growth will be driven by smaller-scale installations and floating PV, oil and gas major Shell said last November it is exploring the possibility of installing utility-scale solar within the island city state as part of its plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The oil company has also made investments in local developers Sunseap and Cleantech, which itself plans to install 500MW of commercial and industrial solar PV.

The Fitch report also noted policy changes that have enabled a faster uptake of large-scale solar. Singapore’s Energy Market Authority has lowered one aspect of its license fee for installations ranging from 10MW to 400MW capacity, reducing the overall cost of installation. The report warns the lack of available land for larger developments will “curb a substantial solar capacity build-out”, and predicts that the country will reach roughly 1.5GW of installed PV by 2030, rather than the 2GW targeted by the government.

PV Tech publisher Solar Media is hosting the Solar & Storage Finance Asia virtual summit in July, bringing together the solar and storage finance and development industries. More information on the event, to be held between 6 – 8 July 2021, can be found here.

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