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HDB sets new solar target, could power 135,000 4-room flats by 2030

SINGAPORE — The Housing and Development Board (HDB) said that it will reinforce its commitment to generate more clean energy, with a new solar target of 540 megawatt-peak (MWp) by 2030. It already surpassed its original 2020 target of 220 MWp last year.

HDB sets new solar target, could power 135,000 4-room flats by 2030

The Housing and Development Board called for a fifth solar leasing tender under a programme which encourages government agencies to use solar power.

SINGAPORE — The Housing and Development Board (HDB) said that it will reinforce its commitment to generate more clean energy, with a new solar target of 540 megawatt-peak (MWp) by 2030. It already surpassed its original 2020 target of 220 MWp last year.

This is part of the new national solar target to work towards at least two gigawatt-peak (GWp) by 2030, as announced in October by the Government. The national target represents about 4 per cent of Singapore’s total electricity demand today.

In a statement on Monday (Dec 30), the housing authority said: “With the increase in solar capacity to be achieved, HDB remains the largest driver for installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Singapore.”

The new 540 MWp target could potentially generate 648 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean energy yearly, which could power some 135,000 four-room HDB flats and reduce carbon emissions by 324,000 tonnes a year.

By comparison, the original 2020 target of 220 MWp meant the generation of 265 GWh of clean energy annually. This could supply power to 55,000 four-room flats and cut emissions by 132,500 tonnes annually.

HDB said that it has been able to ramp up its solar energy efforts because advances in technology allow solar panels to generate more solar energy from the same amount of space on the rooftops of public housing blocks now compared with five years ago. That was the time when the SolarNova programme, which encourages government agencies to use solar power, was first rolled out.

For instance, Monocrystalline Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell solar panels, which can convert around 20 per cent of sunlight into electricity, are now more widely used than polycrystalline solar panels which convert only about 16 per cent.

“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,” the agency said.

As of Dec 2019, about 2,060 HDB blocks have been installed with solar panels. Another 2,500 blocks are in the process of being installed with solar panels or will be starting installations soon. 

The solar energy is used to power lifts, lights and water pumps during 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,” HDB said.

In all, 5,500 public housing blocks have been fitted with or identified for solar PV installations, with HDB aiming to increase this to 10,000 blocks, where feasible.    

FIFTH SOLAR LEASING TENDER ISSUED

HDB also issued a call for a fifth solar leasing tender under the SolarNova programme.

It said that the latest tender, which will cover 1,154 HDB blocks and 46 government sites, will generate 60 MWp of solar energy islandwide, creating more clean energy and helping to reduce carbon emissions.

There are six other government agencies taking part in the latest tender, of which two — the Land Transport Authority and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth — are participating for the first time. The others are the Ministry of Education, the National Environment Agency, the Central Provident Fund Board and the People’s Association.

The tender will close on March 2 and is expected to be awarded in the third quarter of next year. Installation of the solar PV systems is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.

HDB’s chief executive officer Cheong Koon Hean said that the agency has been developing solar capabilities for the industry for more than 10 years.

“We will continue to amplify our efforts as our nation pushes towards its next milestone to generate more clean energy and help combat climate change,” she added. 

Related topics

solar panels HDB Technology clean energy

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