Overview of the Energy Situation in Singapore

May 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Policies

This is an overview of the energy situation in Singapore in terms of Electricity Consumption; Energy Consumption; Energy Intensity; Discrepancy Between Energy Statistics; and Energy Efficiency Policies.

1. Electricity Consumption

According to the National Energy Policy Report, the power generation sector accounts for 51% of the fuel consumption in Singapore and the fuel is used to generate electricity for the following sectors (in 2005):

energy-by-sector

There are currently eight electricity generation licensees operating in Singapore, regulated by the Energy Market Authority:

  • Senoko Power Ltd (3300 MW)
  • PowerSeraya Ltd (3100 MW)
  • Tuas Power Ltd (2670 MW)
  • Keppel Merlimau Cogen Pte Ltd (1400 MW)
  • Sembcorp Cogen Pte Ltd (785 MW)
  • National Environment Agency (251 MW; electricity from incineration plants)
  • Island Power Company Pte Ltd (not in operation yet)
  • Keppel Seghers Tuas Waste-to-Energy Plant Pte Ltd (not in operation yet)

Singapore’s total electricity consumption and electricity consumption per capita from 1990 to 2007 is shown in the graph below, based on statistics from the Energy Market Authority and the Singapore Department of Statistics.

singapore-electricity-consumption

Singapore’s electricity consumption is increasing steadily each year, and has increased by 2.6 times over the past 17 years. Electricity consumption per capita increased at a slower rate by 1.8 times over the past 17 years and remained relatively constant from 2005 to 2007, perhaps an indication that the government’s energy conservation efforts are paying off.

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2. Energy Consumption

There is some dispute on whether Singapore is energy intensive and a big consumer of energy per person in the world, which arises due to the different sources of energy statistics used. There are two commonly quoted sources of energy statistics – the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The graph below shows the energy consumption per capita for selected countries in 2006 based on statistics from EIA’s International Energy Statistics and IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2008. If the EIA data is used, the energy consumption per capita for Singapore is higher than the US, other developed countries and the world average. If the IEA data is used, the energy consumption per capita for Singapore is lower than other developed countries such as the US and Finland.

energy-consumption-per-capita2

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3. Energy Intensity

Energy intensity is usually used as an indication of the level of energy efficiency in a country and is measured in terms of energy consumption per dollar of gross domestic product (GDP). A low energy intensity means that the country is able to produce each unit of output using less energy.

The graph below shows the energy intensity for selected countries in 2006 based on statistics from EIA’s International Energy Statistics and IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2008. If the EIA data is used, the energy intensity for Singapore is higher than the US, other developed countries and the world average. If the IEA data is used, the energy intensity for Singapore is comparable to other developed countries such as Finland and the US.

energy-intensity1

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4. Discrepancy Between Energy Statistics

The discrepancy between EIA and IEA statistics is due to the different calculation of energy consumption. According to EIA’s International Energy Statistics, the energy consumption for Singapore is 53.98 Mtoe. On the other hand, the IEA’s Key World Energy Statistics 2008 shows that the energy consumption for Singapore is lower at 30.67 Mtoe.

The energy consumption based on the EIA is about 43% more than that of the IEA. This is because EIA includes marine bunkers (deliveries of oils to ships for consumption during international voyages) in its calculation of energy consumption and as Singapore is the largest marine bunkering centre in the world, our energy consumption is thus overestimated, which in turn leads to higher energy consumption per capita and energy intensity for Singapore. On the other hand, IEA excludes marine bunkers from its calculation of energy consumption.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the National Environment Agency has cited the IEA’s statistics as it gives a more realistic representation of Singapore’s energy consumption. A paper titled Benchmarking Singapore’s Energy Intensity (published in the Economic Survey of Singapore, Third Quarter 2006) says that:

Among the three sources of data, IEA’s numbers paint a more accurate picture of Singapore’s true energy intensity, as IEA has stripped away marine bunkers from its calculation of energy consumption. Singapore is the largest marine bunkering centre in the world. In 2003, we supplied about 20.8 million tons of bunker oil to ships. EIA’s and BP’s data overestimated Singapore’s energy intensity because they attributed marine bunkers as energy consumed in Singapore.

And concludes that:

After accounting for marine bunkers, Singapore’s energy intensity is roughly on par with countries of the same level of development. Compared to less energy intensive economies, Singapore’s higher energy intensity is due mostly to the use of energy in the manufacturing sector, the consumption of fuels as feedstock in the petrochemicals industry and the sale of jet fuel to the international civil aviation sector.

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5. Energy Efficiency Policies

Regardless of the dispute on Singapore’s energy intensity, the government is committed to taking steps to reduce our energy consumption. According to the Energy Efficient Singapore website, Singapore’s energy intensity dropped by 15% from 1990 to 2005 (see graph below) and has been decreasing steadily since 2002, likely due to the use of better and more efficient technology in the power generation and other sectors.

energy-efficiency-in-singapore

Singapore’s key strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to be more energy efficient. The Sustainable Development Blueprint sets a target to reduce our energy intensity (per dollar GDP) by 20% from 2005 levels by 2020, and by 35% from 2005 levels by 2030.

To help Singapore meet the targets, the Energy Efficiency Programme Office (E2PO) is promoting energy efficiency in the various sectors through the Energy Efficient Singapore (E2 Singapore) policies and measures:

energy-efficiency-measures1

Image credit: Energy Consumption by Sectors in 2005 via National Energy Policy Report; Energy Intensity Indexed to 1990 Level via E2 Singapore; Summary of Policies and Measures in E2 Singapore via National Climate Change Strategy.

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