Singapore’s Budget Terminal at Changi International Airport looks set to be the new face of solar energy in Singapore. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has issued a tender for parties interested in working with them on a developmental project that would involve installing solar photovoltaic (PV) cells on the rooftop of the Budget Terminal to generate a portion of the building’s energy needs. “This solar PV system project is part of our efforts to make Changi Airport more environmental-friendly. We are on the look-out for opportunities to adopt new technologies to reduce energy costs. In addition, through this project, we hope to be able to contribute to the research efforts of Singapore’s clean energy industry by enabling research organisations to make use of the extensive weather and electrical data generated from our solar PV system for their research studies”, said Mr Lim Kim Choon, CAAS Director-General and CEO.
The climatic and electrical data to be collected will be shared with researchers from the Singapore Polytechnic which is one of the institutions under the Singapore Economic Development Board’s Clean Energy Research and Test-Bedding (CERT) programme launched by their Clean Energy Programme Office in August 2007. It’s encouraging for the future of sustainable energy in the region that such a visible icon like Changi Airport is making these efforts not only to cut their energy costs (it is expected that the PV cells could generate about 281,000 kilowatt hour of energy per year for an estimated electrical cost savings of around S$60,000 per year) but also to provide a platform whereby they will be contributing to the visibility and development of clean energy technologies. Singapore hopes to become a key global player in the development of solar enrgey given its strategic location right on the equator.
EDB has targetted for the clean energy industry to contribute S$1.7 billion to Singapore’s gross domestic product and create 7,000 jobs by 2015 and has slated initial funding support of S$350 million for the effort.