In Singapore, we take for granted that electricity comes through at the flick of a switch. Blackouts are now such a rarity that some of us voluntarily have them at Earth Hour or reduce our use of electricity for #EarthDay
In fact, Singapore has one of the most reliable electricity systems in the world. In 2020, Singapore’s electricity grid ranked highest for reliability in an international benchmarking study (by certifier SPPA-DNV GL). Singapore beat Seoul, Tokyo, London, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Chicago, with our average of less than a minute of power cut per customer a year.
But powering a nation is a lot more challenging than it looks. Oil and gas are limited resources and options for renewable energy are less for Singapore: we do not get much wind at our geographical location, and we lack the conventional 30km safety radius for nuclear plants. Still, we continue to work at developing sustainable energy solutions. Since 2010, our use of solar energy has multiplied by 19 times. And smaller nuclear plants might be the answer in the future.
From the PUB’s programme in the ‘60s and 70s’ connecting every kampung to the main electricity grid, to providing subsidies to help everyone afford electricity, to training workers to be highly proficient at responding to electrical emergencies, to investing in the latest technology: Singapore ensures that our energy needs are met. It may be something we #TakeForGranted and can do more to help conserve.