Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Trade and Industry whether including nuclear energy in our national energy mix using options that do not involve a domestically located reactor, for example, by using floating barges, is being reviewed in tandem with the Government’s lowering and bringing forward of Singapore’s emissions peak.
Mr Gan Kim Yong: Singapore has limited scalable sources of renewable energy domestically. We do not have the land nor sufficient wind speeds for large solar or wind farms, or the rivers needed for hydro-electric power. Therefore, Singapore will need to stay open to various kinds of low-carbon energy sources. It is in this context that the Energy 2050 Committee developed three possible scenarios through which Singapore could achieve net-zero by 2050; of these, the “Emergent Technology Trailblazer” scenario included the option of deploying nuclear energy in the future. While advanced reactor designs that are being developed, such as the Small Modular Reactors and “Generation IV” technologies, have the potential to be much safer than many of the plants in operation today, most of them are still undergoing research and development and have not begun commercial operations.
The Energy Market Authority is monitoring developments on nuclear technologies and this includes floating options. Any decision to deploy new energy technologies such as nuclear will be carefully considered against its safety, reliability, affordability and environmental sustainability in Singapore’s context. In addition, these technologies will need to comply with stringent standards in line with the best practices of countries which have experience in ensuring the safety of such technologies.
In the meantime, we must continue with our efforts to enhance energy efficiency across all sectors and encourage energy conservation by consumers to play their part to conserve energy, to reduce our overall demand and reliance on energy. We will also continue to explore and tap on other low-carbon energy sources such as solar, regional power grids, low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).
Ministry of Trade and Industry
9 January 2023