Singapore’s Sunseap Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the provincial government of Riau Islands to develop solar energy plants and energy storage systems (ESS) in the Combol (1380 MWp plant and 300 MWh ESS) and Citim (1682 MWp plant and 3500 MWh ESS) islands of Riau. The company is also developing a floating solar farm on Batam (2.2 GWp plant) – another island in the Riau archipelago.
Singapore is planning to import around 30% of its electricity from low-carbon sources, such as renewable energy plants, by 2035. A key part of this plan involves importing electricity from solar plants in neighbouring Riau islands. As such, Singaporean developers alongside Indonesian firms are gearing up to generate necessary electricity, while also developing storage facilities to supply electricity consistently, given the intermittency of solar energy production.
Few important developments to note.
Firstly, are these events signalling a move away from energy security at a national level and towards greater cooperation on a regional level? The Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP) and other similar projects hints at greater connections on a regional level.
Secondly, as large consumers – such as Singapore – depend on the renewable energy sector, they are likely to seek for mechanisms to deal with the intermittency of solar energy, so as to maintain energy stability. How might developments in the energy storage sector be influenced by, or influence, energy transport across national boundaries.
Finally, how will actors in Riau Islands (or other regions that might export energy) respond to these developments? Sunseap mentions that the projects will supply clean energy to Indonesian communities as well as Singapore and create jobs in the Riau province. Are there factors that producers will need to consider to maintain local support? Will the potential of solar energy provide further impetus for growth in solar within Indonesia targeted to local consumers?
Sunseap to develop large-scale solar energy and storage plants in Indonesia's Riau Islands https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/sunseap-develop-large-scale-solar-energy-and-storage-plants-indonesias-riau-islands-2633206
EMA | The Future of Singapore's Energy Story https://www.ema.gov.sg/ourenergystory#:~:text=Singapore%20has%20achieved%20its%202020,at%20least%20200MW%20beyond%202025.