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Sunseap closer to it’s clean energy goal

Solar Panels in South Korea
In late 2013, Singapore signaled its commitment to renewable energy by announcing plans to increase solar capacity by more than seven times by 2030. The government said it will maximize use of solar panels across Singapore’s island state in order to accelerate the island state’s commitment to renewable energy.

Despite the fact that the new target capacity will only meet 4% of Singapore’s total electricity demand, it highlights Singapore’s rising reputation as a regional leader in solar power.

The news is good not only for the environment, but also for solar panel manufacturers and installers like Sunseap, Singapore’s largest clean energy provider.

Innovation driving the solar industry

Singapore’s solar push will be driven not only by political will, but also innovative technologies. As one of the smallest countries in the region, Singapore’s solar model must be unique to the island’s geographic constraints.

“One thing about Singapore is that obviously it has limited land,” Phuan said. “But what we do have is plenty of buildings, which means plenty of rooftops. It also means we have to have more innovative concepts to overcome this land restriction.”

Phuan points to the use of mobile solar farms that are able to utilize undeveloped land that is only available for a limited time period. “We have an installation methodology that is like Lego bricks — very easy to assemble and reassemble. This is right down to substation level where the substation is literally on wheels inside a trailer, so if there is eventually a need to develop the parcel of land ,we are able to shift the entire system to a better location.”

While freshwater solar farms are more common, building solar capacity in sea water is a much more challenging undertaking, given the impact of waves and the corrosive nature of sea water.

“We are currently completing installation of a 5MW floating coastal photovoltaic (PV) farm in the northern coastal waters in between Singapore and Malaysia,” Phuan said. “This is the largest in the world. In terms of coastal water, this small pilot will act as a proof of concept, and we will begin to see PV islands around Singapore.”

Phuan points to the ongoing exploration of other innovative solar installation platforms, such as solar walkways and street-level solar fences, as evidence that Singapore leads the region in solar development. “No other country in the world is really making this kind of effort to tap out the solar availability. If you think about it, solar is our only natural resource, so we are trying to cover every possible area we can find on the island.”

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