October 31, 2007 (AFP) – The government said Tuesday it has earmarked 50 million Singapore dollars (34.5 million US) to fund research on clean energy, such as solar power, over the next five years. Under the programme, Singapore-based local and foreign research and development organisations, public sector agencies, private firms and non-profit research laboratories are encouraged to bid competitively for funding.
The research should focus on “innovative and novel ideas” on clean energy and the proposed projects must have the potential to be turned into commercial ventures, the government’s Economic Development Board (EDB) said.
It said in a statement the Clean Energy Programme Office will start receiving proposals on Friday for research focused on solar energy.
Subsequent calls for proposals may include areas such as fuel cells, wind and hydro-related systems.
Singapore, an affluent island-state, has embarked on a programme to become a centre for the development of clean energy sources, with emphasis on solar energy as a key growth area, the EDB said.
The government targets the clean energy industry to contribute 1.7 billion dollars to gross domestic product and create 7,000 jobs by 2015.
Last Friday, Norwegian solar energy company Renewable Energy Corporation said it plans to invest more than 3.0 billion euro (4.31 billion US) building a manufacturing plant in Singapore to produce solar wafers, cells and modules.
It said the project has the potential of becoming the world’s biggest complex of its kind with a production capacity of up to 1.5 gigawatts, or about 75 percent of the total global output in 2006.
The search for clean energy sources is fast gaining popularity amid efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions which cause global warming.