Singapore and ADB agree electricity import collaboration

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The Asian Development Bank and Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore have signed a memorandum of understanding to support development of renewable energy generation and the ASEAN power grid.

In October 2021, EMA announced Singapore’s plan to import up to four gigawatts of low-carbon electricity, equivalent to 30% of its total supply, by 2035. This programme makes up a significant part of Singapore’s effort to decarbonise its energy sector.

So far, more than 20 proposals have been put forward by six countries, offering a combined import capacity of more than 10 gigawatts.  Singapore has also entered multiple energy collaboration agreements with source countries, including Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Vietnam, to explore the potential export of electricity to Singapore.  

Now, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore have signed an MOU to further support the delivery of those projects alongside the development of an ASEAN power grid to support better transmission across national borders. 

The collaboration will provide expertise and best practices in areas such as regional cooperation, public–private partnerships, structuring and project financing. The MOU also empowers ADB to provide funding by all of its mechanisms to ASEAN countries and project sponsors to help implement projects and manage the risks of taking them forwards.

ADB vice-president for east and southeast Asia and the Pacific, Ahmed M. Saeed, explained: “The clean energy transition demands high-impact collaboration across ASEAN and a diverse range of financing sources. ADB is honored to partner with EMA in its effort to transform the energy landscape in ASEAN. Investing in clean energy not only puts us on a path to net zero, but it increases prospects for strong and sustainable growth.”

EMA chief executive Ngiam Shih Chun added: “This collaboration will combine the expertise and resources of EMA and ADB to further unlock the potential for low-carbon electricity to power the region, and boost efforts to decarbonise our power sector through imports of low-carbon electricity.”

As Asia and the Pacific’s climate bank, ADB has raised its ambition to deliver $100bn in climate financing across the region by 2030, while supporting a range of initiatives to help countries transition to low-carbon economies and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.