The new benchmark means HDB remains the largest driver for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Singapore. Image: HDB
Having already surpassed the previous solar target of 220 megawatt-peak (MWp), The Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced its commitment to generate more clean energy by increasing the solar target to 540 MWp by 2030.
“This is part of the new national solar target to work towards at least 2GWp by 2030, as announced in October 2019 by the government,” said HDB in a release on Monday (30 December).
“With the increase in solar capacity to be achieved, HDB remains the largest driver for installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Singapore.”
It noted that the new 540 MWp target could generate 648 GWh of clean energy annually, which is enough to power around 135,000 four-room flats and reduce carbon emissions by 324,000 tonnes per year.
“In comparison, this would increase clean energy generation by 145% from the previous target,” it said.
HDB explained that it is able to make bolder strides in harnessing solar energy as advances in PV technology enabled them to generate more solar energy from the same amount of space on HDB rooftops.
Monocrystalline Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell panels, for instance, are now more widely used than polycrystalline panels as they could covert about 20% of sunlight into electricity. The latter could convert only about 16%.
With this, some of the previously unsuitable rooftop spaces, like point blocks and partially shaded areas, can now be installed with solar panels.
About 2,060 HDB blocks have been installed with solar panels as of December 2019. About 2,500 more HDB blocks are in the progress of being installed with solar panels or will start installation soon.
The solar energy is used to power the blocks’ lifts, lights and water pumps. On average, these HDB blocks achieve net-zero energy consumption within common areas. Excess solar energy is channelled back to Singapore’s electrical grid.
Meanwhile, HDB also called the fifth solar leasing tender under its SolarNova programme.
To cover 1,154 HDB blocks and 46 government sites, the latest tender will “reap 60 MWp of solar energy islandwide, creating more clean energy and helping to reduce carbon emissions”.
HDB revealed that six agencies will take part in the fifth SolarNova tender, with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) participating for the first time.
The solar leasing tender closes on 2 March 2020, and is set to be awarded in the third quarter of 2020. Installation of the PV systems is slated for completion by the first quarter of 2023.
Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org