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From 1.2% to zero: What will it take to phase out coal from Singapore's energy mix?

File photo of the Tembusu Multi-Utilities Complex on Jurong Island.
Channel News Asia Online
17 Nov 2021
1.2% to Zero

Commenting on Singapore's move to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance and phase out its own use of “unabated” coal power by 2050, SMU Associate Professor of Science, Technology and Society Winston Chow said there is no reason why Singapore can't phase out coal ahead of 2050, but noted that the 150 workers employed at the plant need to be retrained for other jobs. He also pointed to Singapore’s intention to explore carbon capture technology – referring to the process of capturing and either storing or recycling carbon dioxide – and said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the Jurong Island plant was utilised for such purposes, together with other oil-fired and natural gas plants. “The most ideal carbon-friendly way is not to extract and burn fossil fuels at all, but in several contexts where there is energy scarcity and renewable energy can’t be easily upscaled, applying CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage) is one of the ways to address these issues,” Assoc Prof Chow added.