Subsea cables and biomethane

Subsea cables uses loads of materials and for power evacuation, it makes more sense to lay a really high capacity cable rather than low capacity one if one is to invest in doing it over long distances. The environmental impact to marine life is unclear; and given these electronics components, they actually might last only 25 years.

So Singapore is importing electricity through interconnectors, and the first seem like they are going to come from Laos through Malaysia and Thailand? While the deal seems sealed, it is not clear when the physical electrons will be arriving in Singapore. Next up there’s the request for proposal by Energy Market Authority around importing electricity from neighbouring countries, likely though some kind of new subsea interconnectors to draw power from some renewable energy projects.

Given the requirement for firm electricity supply, the solar or wind projects will require battery storage. The green electricity from Laos is different as they are hydropower which has much more dispatch-ready quality to them. The subsea cables, the energy storage systems as well as the solar or wind projects are going to be very costly and the fresh infrastructure is supposed to somehow displace some of the infrastructure we have already built in Singapore such as the LNG terminal etc. Since the renewable electricity should probably replace some of the local gas-generated power?

Why don’t Singapore consider greener fuels instead such as looking at biomethane and building out the supply chain in the region. It can concurrently achieve some positive impact in the region by reducing toxic palm oil waste, and hence pollution, harness waste into a resource while achieving decarbonisation by leveraging existing infrastructure. Granted, it is a long journey and might be more tedious to pull off than just calling an RFP and importing electricity through a sub-sea cable.

But don’t we want to participate more in regional infrastructure?

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