Clean Energy, Cleantech venture capital, Energy Efficiency, Green Building, Legislation, Singapore, Solar

Green developers get S$20m fund (Singapore)

March 4, 2008 (Today Online) – Developers of new and green buildings can now tap into a S$20 million fund set up by the Government – a decision that is certain to sit well all-round as oil prices continue to surge.

The fund will partly offset the cost of integrating solar panels into new buildings “which attain a certain level of Green Mark standard”, Mr S Iswaran, the Minister of State for Trade and Industry (MTI) told Parliament yesterday.

Under a 2005 scheme, buildings that meet environment sustainability standards will be Green-Mark-certified by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.

“This (Solar Capability Scheme) is a grant-based incentive, to spur more innovative approaches and capability development, in the architecture, design and system integration of solar panels as part of green buildings,” he said, adding that more details would be released soon by the Economic Development Board.

It is part of the Republic’s drive to encourage the adoption of renewable energy amidst concerns of high-energy costs fuelled by spiralling oil prices.

While the Government will encourage the use of solar energy through incentives and lowering grid connection fees, Mr Iswaran stressed that it will, however, stop at subsidising the cost of renewable energy through feed-in tariffs.

Fit is a form of energy subsidy where renewable energy companies are guaranteed contracts for energy produced at higher prices as compared to those from traditional sources.

The issue cropped up recently when Today ran a story on how the business community had urged MTI to consider Fit to promote the energy sector. MTI had argued against it, citing distortion to market and a possible increase in electricity prices.

Responding to a query from Nominated Member of Parliament Eunice Olsen as to how much more it would cost consumers with the adoption of Fit, Mr Iswaran said compared to a pool price of 22 cents per kilowatt, solar energy produced under Fit would be as high as “two to three times the cost, perhaps a little lower because oil prices have gone up now”.

He added that it was not an “optimal strategy because what we are effectively doing is encouraging solar”.

“The question is why solar when it can be bio-energy, bio-diesel and so on … why not subsidise others as well?” he asked.

Asked by Ms Olsen if MTI’s insistence against Fit for renewable energy is a reflection of its low priority for developing the industry, especially when tax credits are granted for expensive commodities like green cars, Mr Iswaran explained that the promotion of solar energy, or any other industry, can be done through other means.

Citing research and test-bedding initiatives such as the recently launched Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore and the $170 million allocated to the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council for Solar Research and Development that aim to develop alternative energy technologies, Mr Iswaran said such approaches “give better returns in the long run”.

“The right strategy is to help the industry get into a position of competitiveness vis-à-vis existing supplies of energy, but to subsidise it is to distort the market in terms of production and consumption decisions and we don’t think that’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Amid the ongoing debate, Singaporeans were hit again by the impact of higher oil prices – which hovered around US$102 per barrel yesterday – as Caltex raised its price for petrol and diesel by 4 cents a litre.

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3 thoughts on “Green developers get S$20m fund (Singapore)

  1. Dear Sirs,

    We are developing the project of Jatropha plantation in Thailand
    /Lao/Cambodia.under a contract farming scheme with the policy of Poverty
    reduction along with the Climate Change mitigation.

    We are having a pilot plantation of 100 hectares in Thailand as a center for
    showing how a proper Jatropha plantation must be.
    The pilot plantation is also for the training of the contract farming
    members before going into their own plantation.

    We provide all the knowhow of Jatropha plantation and with the guarantee buy
    back at the fair market price floating related to the foosil crude oil
    (Brent) prices for the JS (Jatropha Seeds) for our own expelling mill to
    process into CJO(Crude Jatropha Oil) which Could be use as SVO (Straigth
    Vegetable Oil) for station power generating engine and as the feed stock
    for Bio diesel production.

    Our CJO is also the non edible oil and it will reduce the tension of FOOD
    versus ENERGY

    Currently we are promoting around 52,000 families in Thailand living under
    the average of standard of lives in Thailand along the
    Thai-Cambodia border belt.

    We are looking for a possibilities to get any micro financial funding to
    loan to all these villagers with the pay back by deducting from the buy back
    contract of JS.

    We also prepare to enlarge the project in the similar format to have the
    same activities in our neighbor countries in Lao and Cambodia.

    Regarding to the off take market of the CJO.
    We did have the approval from the biggest German engineering MAN group
    producing the power generating engines.They did approve that our CJO can be
    used as biofuel SVO to the engines w/o any necessary of pretreatment on the
    CJO.
    They do need to buy any quantity at the agreed discount price benchmark to
    the fossil crue(Brent) prices.

    We also get some demand from the biodiesel production in Germany and USA for
    our CJO to use as the feed stock for their production
    They are willing to buy any available quantity at the agreed discount price
    to CPO(Crude Palm Oil) which are currently used as their feed
    stock

    If you are interesting to participate in our aggressive and progressive
    projects in jatropha chain,
    We will be pleased to send to you more information of our activities and
    development .

    Thanks and look forward to hearing some feed back responses from you.

    Best regards+
    Chummy Mah.
    Bioenergy Development Co.,Ltd

  2. Fenco Widjaja says:

    Pls send me the detail of Jatropha Investment dan plantation.
    We star now with 50 ha pilot project in Sumbawa Island Indonesia

  3. Carlos says:

    Dear all:

    We are developing Green Energy engines and generators.

    This cancels the need for ANY oil burning based energy.

    We can not as a global community, keep burning ANY OILS of ANY kind, being them hydrocarbons OR vegetable oils.

    My company is developing and building the generators, and they will be released soon to the public. For more questions about the technology and for Investor’s Relationships, please contact: techieatwork@gmail.com

    Sicerely,
    Carlos H.

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