The scheme and policies available are not targeted particularly at solar thermal and solar buildings. Most of the financing mechanism in place is indirectly for energy efficiency requirements for buildings.
The Energy Innovation Programme Office (EIPO)’s Solar Capability Scheme was set up to boost the use of solar technologies in buildings. Through such schemes, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have been deployed in various public housing estates by retrofitting existing precincts with solar panels and integrating solar PV systems into new precincts. The generated solar electricity helps to offset the energy consumption in the public spaces and common areas of these public housing estates, which will eventually translate to savings for the residents. Private sector projects – such as Ocean Financial Centre; REC’s Integrated Solar Manufacturing Facility; SOLID Asia’s project at United World College’s (UWC) Tampines Campus - also benefited from this scheme.
In Singapore, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) launched the Building Retrofit Energy Efficiency Financing (BREEF) Scheme as a pilot financing scheme in collaboration with several financial institutions to provide funding to property owners to retrofit their buildings to increase their energy efficiency. As a pre-requisite, the building must maintain its Green Mark certification for period of loan tenure and BCA will share the risk of any loan default with the banks.
One of the key initiatives under the Public Sector Taking the Lead in Environment Sustainability is the SolarNova Programme. This is an initiative led by EDB that aims to accelerate solar deployment in Singapore through promoting and aggregating solar demand across government agencies. Specifically, the programme will help:
a) Create awareness of solar energy amongst the public sector agencies;
b) Carry out feasibility studies and site selection for solar installations for public sector agencies; and
c) Aggregate demand for solar amongst public sector agencies to achieve economies of scale.
Through this programme, new career opportunities will be created and will bring about the following benefits:
a) Catalyse the growth of solar energy in Singapore resulting in lower carbon emissions and reliance on imported fuel;
b) Build up the solar industry across the value chain including manufacturing, project development and financing, and system integration; and
c) Encourage private sector adoption of solar.
In doing so, the programme is projected to raise Singapore’s adoption of solar power by government agencies to 350 MWp by 2020. EDB is working with the government agencies to finalise the implementation details of the SolarNova Programme.