S'pore exploring using geothermal energy to generate power

If there are hot springs, there are heat sources underground that can be tapped.

Belmont Lay | October 27, 2021, 11:43 AM

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Singapore is studying the potential of harnessing geothermal energy from underground heat to power cooling systems and water desalination processes.

Exploratory phase of study

The Sembawang Hot Spring Park and Pulau Tekong, which is gazetted for military use, are two known areas with geothermal potential.

The exploratory phase of the study will be carried out in these northern and eastern parts of Singapore and the focus will be on determining the potential of geothermal power generation, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) said on Oct. 26.

Preliminary findings from the exploratory studies will be established by the end of 2022.

If they yield positive results, EMA will then conduct further research to find out the viability and scalability of geothermal systems being deployed in Singapore.

Newer, more advance tech compared to previously

EMA said newer and more advanced technologies will allow drilling deeper and at lower costs.

Newer technology has opened up the possibility of geothermal applications in Singapore, despite past studies into geothermal potential previously carried out, EMA added.

EMA is working closely with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and various ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the National Climate Change Secretariat.

How geothermal energy could work here

With advanced geothermal systems, pipes constructed underground carry fluids to the surface when they pick up heat by conduction.

The heat is used for generating electricity.

Speaking at the opening of the Singapore-International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) High-Level Forum, Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng said: "In Singapore, recent developments in geothermal technology, such as advanced geothermal systems which harness heat from deep dry rock, may allow Singapore to harness geothermal energy at greater depths, with minimal impact to environment and safety."

Tan is also the Manpower Minister.

Would be first in the world

EMA added that Singapore would be one of the first countries to deploy next-generation geothermal systems in a densely-populated environment if geothermal energy for power generation is adopted.

Singapore has pledged to halve its 2030 peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The goal is to achieve net zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of this century.

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