August 20, 2007 (Channel News Asia) – The Singapore government has earmarked S$17 million over the next five years to test and develop solutions for the renewable energy sector.
It announced on Monday that it is seeking technology providers and proposals for three test sites – the Gardens by the Bay, Marina Barrage and Singapore Polytechnic campus.
The projects go under the Clean Energy Research and Testbedding, or CERT, programme.
The aim is to train up talent and also create products and services for an emerging industry worth billions of dollars.
Think of it as bankable science projects that are good for Mother Earth and Singapore.
This is why the Singapore government is spending money and lending its gardens and buildings to grow the green business.
Ko Kheng Hwa, Managing Director, EDB, says: “What we’re providing is a unique opportunity to experiment and test the deployment of clean technology in a tropical environment, in an urban environment.
“The whole idea is firstly to develop the capability in Singapore so that we’re able to design, to deploy to implement clean technology here. And with these expertise we can promote the use of clean technology in Singapore. And at the same time, we can develop products and services that we can export to the international market.”
The business of providing technology and services that save the environment attracted US$46 billion in research and development investments last year.
The Asia Pacific region accounted for more than one-third of these investments and is expected to stay the lead in the sector.
It is estimated that the global market for environmental technologies will grow to some US$700 billion by 2010, or triple the size of the global aerospace industry as more companies worldwide seek to be more energy efficient and environmentally responsible.
In Singapore, S$350 million worth of public funding has been committed to grow the sector, which runs the gamut from solar power, fuel cells, wind power to carbon services.
The Clean Energy industry is expected to create S$1.7 billion in value-add and 7,000 jobs by 2015.
S Iswaran, Minister of State, Trade and Industry, says: “Singapore is poised to leapfrog into this industry by leveraging on our strong foundation in environmental sustainability, which has been built over the past few decades. We have, out of necessity and in recognition of our constraints, adopted a sustainable approach to development.”
EDB says the testing and tweaking of solar panel technologies have the most potential in sunny Singapore.
Beyond the three projects announced on Monday, the government also aims to extend the CERT programme to the construction industry and public housing going forward.
The Clean Energy Research and Testbedding programme is led by a coalition agency that includes the Economic Development Board, National Environment Agency, and IE Singapore.