5 November 2021

On 26 October 2021, the Energy Market Authority (“EMA”) issued a media release to announce the launch of the new “Singapore Standard (SS) 673: Code of Practice for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)” (“SS 673”) to facilitate consistency for the transaction and management of Renewable Energy Certificates (“RECs”). Separately, on the same day, EMA issued another media release to announce that it is exploring the potential of harnessing geothermal energy in Singapore which, if found to be feasible, could serve as a new and additional source of indigenous clean energy for power generation in Singapore.

These developments are part of Singapore’s ongoing efforts to achieve a more sustainable energy future. Set out below is a summary of the developments. 

New Singapore Standard to support management and use of RECs

RECs are market-based instruments which have become a common means for energy users, including businesses, to fulfil their sustainability commitments. Through the purchase of RECs, users can claim that the energy they use comes from a renewable source. While RECs are not new to Singapore, privately-run registries have been operating with their own criteria and procedures for issuing RECs, with varying verification requirements.

First of its kind in South-east Asia, SS 673 is a national standard which covers the production, tracking, management, and usage of RECs for making renewable energy claims in Singapore. The new standard will enhance the credibility and accountability of RECs that are used to make renewable energy claims in Singapore, as well as those issued from renewable energy projects. SS 673 is intended to provide a clear framework to improve the integrity of measurement, reporting and verification requirements for the issuance and management of RECs. Overseen by the Singapore Standards Council (SSC) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), SS 673 is a joint effort by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), EMA, as well as representatives from industry stakeholders and academia.

SS 673 defines the types of renewable energy sources that are eligible to generate RECs, such as solar, wind, and biomass. The standard provides requirements for the verification of installations and guides renewable energy claims by producers and end-users. It was also developed with a view towards the future. For example, as best practice, the RECs generated and the companies using them should be located within the same market boundary. With this new standard, trading of RECs within ASEAN can be supported, for example, via certifying renewable energy imported into Singapore.

Potential of harnessing geothermal energy in Singapore

Supported by the National Research Foundation, EMA is working closely with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and various ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry (“MTI”) and the National Climate Change Secretariat, to carry out exploratory studies on Singapore’s geothermal potential with the aim to establish preliminary findings by end-2022. If the results are positive, there will be further research to determine the viability and scalability of deploying geothermal systems in Singapore.

As highlighted in EMA’s media release, Singapore could potentially adopt geothermal energy for power generation in the future and be one of the first countries to deploy next-generation geothermal systems in a densely-populated city. This would support Singapore’s effort to lower its power sector’s carbon emissions, and help meet its climate change targets.

Reference materials

The following materials are available on the EMA website www.ema.gov.sg and the MTI website www.mti.gov.sg: