Singapore’s Housing Board to explore floating solar panels to diversify energy mix
The Housing Board (HDB) in Singapore has announced plans to explore offshore wind farms in a bid to utilise the water surrounding its small land area.
The state aims to lower its reliance on fossil fuels but lacks vast spaces of land to install renewable energy projects, the Straits Times reported.
The HDB announced on 8 July that it will be partnering with a landscaping firm in order to harvest more energy from the sun.
The partnership will sign a research collaboration in order to conduct development research into floating solar systems suitable for coastal marine conditions, making them capable of withstanding harsh wind and wave conditions.
“One way to further harvest Singapore's solar energy is to look beyond... to the sea,” remarked Cheong Koon Hean, CEO of the HBD, according to the Straits Times.
The state’s grid currently relies on more than 95% of power being sourced from natural gas, which despite being a cleaner form of, is a still a fossil fuel.
The HDB has targeted solar installations in the state for the past decade, Cheong claims, with more than 2,400 of its blocks fitted with solar panels.
By 2020, the board aims to have 5,500 blocks either fitted with solar panels, or be identified to have panels installed in the future.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.