S’pore reservoir to house floating solar panel systems

New age: Workers inspecting solar panels at the Tengeh Reservoir in Tuas in this file picture. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

SINGAPORE: One of the world’s largest single floating solar photovoltaic (PV) systems might soon find a home in the waters of Singapore’s Tengeh Reservoir.

In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint, national water agency, the PUB, will seek proposals from companies to design, build, own and run the nation’s first large-scale floating system of solar panels that will power water treatment processes.

Two smaller floating solar PV systems will also be deployed by the PUB at the reservoirs in Bedok and Lower Seletar in the second half of this year for the same reason.

Alongside the conversion of food waste into agricultural compost and the use of water sludge to produce biogas as an alternative energy source, the floating solar PV systems are yet another tool in the nation’s arsenal to thrive in a resource-constrained world.

Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli announced the project in his speech at the Ecosperity Conference 2019 yesterday, as he outlined a multi-pronged strategy to bolster Singapore’s defences against climate change and economic sustainability in a world with limited resources.

Now in its sixth year, the event brought together corporate leaders, policymakers and innovators to discuss ways in which businesses could marry growth with sustainability.

“It is clear that the status quo in the way we consume our resources and grow our economy is not sustainable.

“The impact of climate change respects no geographical or national boundaries,” Masagos said.

He cited a handful of scenarios in other parts of the world that underscored the gravity of the climate crisis, including the uncharacteristically warm weather last month in the region of Hokkaido, Japan, where a heatwave sent mercury levels soaring beyond those of previous years.

A third of the world’s arable land has already been lost due to ecological changes, he said, and the effect of extreme weather phenomena will put mounting pressure on critical resources such as food, energy and water.

“Growing population, rapid urbanisation, over-consumption of resources as well as the intensifying effects of climate change are all megatrends that we are grappling with,” said Masagos.

To take on these challenges, Masagos highlighted several strategies Singapore has adopted in its circular economy approach, where waste is minimised and transformed into resources. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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