Singapore is home to 5.6 million people and the City-State is well known for its wealth of tech startups and innovative projects. But, at present, 95% of Singapore’s electricity is generated from liquid natural gas which is imported mainly from Malaysia and Indonesia. Australia will soon become a world-leader in exporting renewable energy with plans to transport solar power to Singapore.
Sun Cable is the company behind the bold move, which aims to farm the power at a 15,000-hectare site at Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. It will then send the energy to Singapore via an underwater cable from Darwin. Australia has already been exporting power overseas for decades through the shipping of coal and gas across the globe. But this would be the first move to export renewable energy which has the potential to kickstart an entirely new industry in this country.
David Griffin is the chief executive of Sun Cable and has been developing utility-scale solar and wind farms in Australia and South Africa since 2000. Mr. Griffin said, “The market was there in Singapore and I was confident the project would be able to deliver clean energy to the City-State in the near future – delivering huge benefits to Australia.” When asked, whether this was a start of an export industry, he said, “Absolutely, we have so much of this resource, it is the cheapest form of energy. There is very strong interest. We are in discussions and those discussions will go on for a number of years.”
There are plenty of logistics that need to be worked out, but the project has already been granted ‘major project’ status by the Northern Territory Government and environment approvals are pending. Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2023.