Published Date: 30 Dec 2019
The Housing & Development Board (HDB) has reinforced its commitment to generate more clean energy with a new solar target of 540 megawatt-peak (MWp) by 2030. This is part of the new national solar target to work towards at least 2GWp by 2030, as announced in October 2019 by the Government. With the increase in solar capacity to be achieved, HDB remains the largest driver for installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Singapore.
2 Having already surpassed the previous solar target of 220 MWp, the new 540 MWp target could potentially generate 648 GWh of clean energy annually. This is equivalent to powering about 135,000 4-room flats with clean energy, and potentially reducing carbon emissions by 324,000 tonnes per year. In comparison, this would increase clean energy generation by 145% from the previous target.
Launch of Fifth SolarNova Tender
3 HDB has called the fifth solar leasing tender under the SolarNova programme led jointly with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), aggregating public sector demand for the installation of solar panels across 1,154 HDB blocks and 46 government sites. This latest tender will reap 60 MWp of solar energy islandwide, creating more clean energy and helping to reduce carbon emissions, thereby helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.
4 The fifth SolarNova tender involves the participation of six agencies, including Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) who are participating for the first time. The solar leasing tender will close on 02 March 2020, and is targeted to be awarded in 3Q 2020. Installation of the PV systems is expected to be completed by 1Q 2023. The full list of government organisations and sites covered under the fifth SolarNova tender is attached in Annex A.
Ramping Up Solar Efforts
5 With advances in solar PV technology, HDB is able to make bolder strides to harness solar energy, as more solar energy can be generated from the same amount of space on HDB rooftops. For instance, the industry standard for solar panels has risen since the start of the SolarNova programme in 2014. Monocrystalline PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell) panels, which can convert around 20% of sunlight into electricity, are now more widely used under the programme, than polycrystalline panels with an efficiency of 16%. This increase in solar PV efficiency has enabled some of the previously unsuitable rooftop spaces, such as point blocks and partially shaded areas, to be installed with solar panels, thereby increasing the solar potential of HDB blocks significantly.
HDB is targeting to install solar panels on about 10,000 HDB blocks where feasible, to help reduce
Singapore’s carbon footprint.
6 HDB’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Cheong Koon Hean said, “HDB has been developing solar capabilities for the industry since more than 10 years ago. Beyond creating green and sustainable towns and estates, we remain a key driver in the growth of Singapore’s solar industry. We will continue to amplify our solar efforts as our nation pushes towards its next milestone to generate more clean energy and help combat climate change.”
7 As of December 2019, about 2,060 HDB blocks have been installed with solar panels. Solar PV installation at another about 2,500 HDB blocks is in progress or will commence soon. The solar energy harnessed is used to power common services in HDB estates such as the blocks’ lifts, lights and water pumps in the day. On average, these HDB blocks are able to achieve net-zero energy consumption at common areas with excess solar energy channelled back to Singapore’s electrical grid.