Low-carbon hydrogen & how it could play a big part in achieving S’pore’s climate target, as explained by DPM Wong

Low-carbon hydrogen is an increasingly promising solution to Singapore’s energy needs and could bring forward our climate target, said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.

He was speaking at the Singapore International Energy Week on Oct 25. DPM Wong also took the chance to announce that Singapore will raise its climate target to achieve net-zero by 2050 — an improvement from the previously announced “as soon as viable in the second half of the century”.

What’s low-carbon hydrogen? In a nutshell, it is hydrogen produced through the electrolysis of water using renewable energy. It’s also known as green hydrogen because it’s only by product is water.

DPM Wong said: “As a clean fuel that can be used to generate electricity, low-carbon hydrogen can support our twin objectives of reducing carbon emissions and safeguarding our energy security.”

Sounds good! When are we going to go for it? While the technology and supply chains are still nascent, momentum has picked up substantially in recent years, noted DPM Wong. He added that the world is now standing at an inflection point in global hydrogen development. And that’s why he also took the opportunity to launch the Singapore’s National Hydrogen Strategy during the conference.

What’s this strategy? “This National Hydrogen Strategy is a signal of Singapore’s ambition to leverage the potential of hydrogen as a decarbonisation pathway. More importantly, it is a rallying call to our industry and international partners, to join us on this journey,” he added.

DPM Wong also said that the Government foresees that hydrogen can supply up to half of our power needs by 2050, alongside domestic renewable energy sources and electricity imports. He also mentioned five key thrusts.

What are the five key thrusts?

1) Experimenting with key hydrogen technologies and carrier pathways to understand how they can be deployed on a large scale in Singapore when they become economically viable.

2) Redoubling efforts to support hydrogen research and development through the Low Carbon Energy Research Project.

3) Working with industry and international partners to facilitate global trade in low-carbon hydrogen and the establishment of supporting supply chains.

4) Studying the land and infrastructure requirements needed to deploy low-carbon hydrogen in the longer-term.

5) Getting our industry and workforce ready for this hydrogen transition and put them in good stead to capture new opportunities.

What does Singapore stand to gain? Plenty. DPM Wong said that a large global hydrogen economy will bring new activities and jobs across the entire supply chain. For instance, hydrogen project financing, hydrogen trading, carbon verification and certification, as well as logistics solutions in the transportation, storage and distribution of hydrogen.

How do we build this up? Thankfully, we have built up a culture of a very close tripartite relationship between government, employers and unions. “So we will work with our tripartite partners primarily the employers and unions to develop these new capabilities and skills required to anchor such activities in Singapore,” he said.

How can I be part of this plan? DPM Wong also emphasised that the plan is not cast in stone. “We welcome new ideas and collaboration from all stakeholders to amplify our efforts and help us refine our approach, and we will also continue to adjust our strategy in line with technological and global supply chain developments.”

Cover photo credit: DPM Wong Facebook and Sergio Sala on Unsplash