November 5, 2007 (Channel News Asia) – At a renewable energy conference Monday, SPRING Singapore urged small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses to tap into one of the most readily-available forms of fuel – solar energy.
The agency has previously announced initiatives to provide not only financial backup, but also research and development support for SMEs in this sector.
And according to a study by the National University of Singapore (NUS), if all HBD blocks were equipped with solar panels, energy they tap from the sun could provide for at least half of the energy consumption needs of HDB households.
As part of the efforts to reduce dependence on fuel, Singapore is seeking to develop better technology in renewable energy.
“Singapore faces a really interesting set of problems related to energy policy. They import almost 100 per cent of their fuel, which means they are one of the only countries in the world who imports more than 90 per cent of their fuel… and so being that dependent on foreign fuels makes Singapore’s economy very vulnerable to price spikes/interruptions… security issues,” said NUS post-doctoral fellow Benjamin Sovacool.
Many companies still hesitate to use renewable energy as initial start-up costs tend to be high.
But under SPRING Singapore’s Technology Innovation Programme, SMEs can get financial help to develop new products and processes, along with advice for research and development.
“We are producing over 4000 engineers a year in Singapore, so the universities are very equipped… the research labs in A*STAR (have) thousands of scientists… so the key is the know-how for the capital that is already here,” said SPRING Singapore’s chairman Philip Yeo.
According to some estimates, renewable industries such as wind and solar energy can employ up to ten times the number of staff as their fossil counterparts. – CNA/ac