At the “In Dialogue with Youth” session at the Singapore International Energy Week 2012, Dr Gal Luft, Co-Director at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, gave an insightful talk titled “Turning Oil Into Salt” to dissect the importance of oil to our transport systems and touched on reasons why that is detrimental to our future energy security.
Salt as a Strategically Important Commodity
In the past, before the introduction of canning and refrigeration, curing foods was the only method of food preservation and the sole way of storing food. Salt was a critical component of the curing process and thus possessed strategic importance in the form of food security. It could be said to have a monopoly over food supply, dominating in a market with no competitors. Read more
The Singapore Energy Summit 2012, held during the Singapore International Energy Week 2012, is a high-level dialogue that brings together distinguished speakers from various governments, companies and non-government organizations to discuss and share their opinions on energy issues.
This year’s Summit consists of 3 Panel Discussions and a Plenary discussion on various topics such as future energy options, energy financing, climate change and the interconnection between energy, water and food. This article will be highlighting several overarching key points that were raised by many speakers across the different panels, highlighting their importance to our future energy landscape. Read more
When we think of long-term solutions to our energy needs, we usually think of sustainable energy sources. Big projects that harness energy from renewable sources, yet do not release the copious amounts of carbon dioxide that today’s conventional sources (oil, gas and coal) do.
There are several problems with pursuing these energy sources as the only solution to our energy needs. They are expensive and would take more research and development before they can compete with today’s conventional sources on a per dollar basis.
More importantly, changing the supply of our energy to more sustainable sources does not do much if energy consumption continues to grow at the rate it has been in recent times. Therefore, it is important that energy efficiency be factored in any solution we choose to implement for our energy needs. Read more
Fuel cells cannot be called the next big thing. They have been around for a long time and was part of the hype around the possibility of using hydrogen to power everything from cars to phones. Fuel cells work by oxidizing hydrogen and emitting only water as a by-product with zero carbon emissions. However, when faced with the many challenges of large-scale hydrogen production and use, many researchers and businesses failed to overcome them to achieve commercialization and the focus has since shifted to electric vehicles and improving conventional battery technology. What used to be seen as an integral part of our sustainability goals became nothing more than a failed technology, destined to never realize its game-changing potential. One company, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, saw the potential and was determined to overcome the challenges. Read more
During one of the plenary sessions on Sustainable Mobility at the recent Clean Energy Expo Asia 2011 Conference, Mr Vivek Vaidya, Vice President, Automotive Practice Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan, shared his findings on the challenges and constraints faced in tackling the urban transport conundrum. His recommended solutions involve a mix of better public transport, new and innovative mobility solutions and most importantly, a shift in mindset.
People typically prefer private transport to public alternatives, and the reason for this is the difference in perceived comfort levels, says a consumer research study conducted by Mr Vaidya. In his study, consumers were asked to compare public and private transport in four areas – value, speed, comfort and overall impression. The results for value and speed were very close but there was a stark difference in comfort, leading to a higher overall impression for private transport. Read more
Solar energy systems are often hailed as one of the more viable renewable energy sources for sunny Singapore. Given that solar module prices are rapidly falling, Singapore will surely reach grid parity in the near future. Grid parity refers to the point where the cost of solar power is equivalent to the cost of electricity generated from conventional fossil fuel power plants. Grid parity could result in an explosion in solar system implementation as consumers and businesses begin to see it as a cost-effective alternative to traditional sources of electricity.
At the Clean Energy Expo Asia 2011 Conference, one of the sessions covered Solar Power Technology with a focus on certain technical considerations that must be factored in when implementing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The session was moderated by Mr Christophe Inglin, Managing Director, Phoenix Solar Pte Ltd, and included speakers, Mr Horst Kruse, Director Sales Photovoltaics Asia, SCHOTT Solar AG, and Dr Jiang Fan, Manger of Technology Centre of Energy Conservation, Singapore Polytechnic. In particular, Mr Kruse focused on the tropicalization of PV modules and Dr Jiang focused on the effect of partial shading. Read more