Joint Nordic energy seminar held in Singapore

‘Energy for The Future – Nordic Solutions’ was jointly organised by four Nordic embassies in Singapore as a full-day seminar on 29 October, as a part of the Singapore International Energy Week and supported by Singapore’s Energy Market Authority.

Attended by all the four Nordic ambassadors, the seminar gave insights regarding the solutions to the energy questions of the future, giving many examples from the ‘Nordic Power Shift’. Industry and government representatives in the energy sector from India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines participated.

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The Programme of the seminar contained:
Energy Transitions with speakers from DNV GL and Statoil.
Beyond integration – Nordic Solutions, with speakers from Tronrud Engineering, Swedish National Grid, ABB and Vestas.
Energy Efficiency and Innovative Technologies with speakers from Copenhagen City, Innovation Norway and Neste.

The transition to a greener energy future is high on the agenda, where the Nordic mix energy approach could point the way towards feasible decarbonised power systems for Southeast Asian nations. The world is on an unsustainable path towards increased energy consumption to support a global population that would reach nine billion by 2040.

The Danish economy has achieved nearly 80% of its GDP growth since 1980 without increasing gross energy consumption.

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“As a pioneer in wind power, Denmark has developed into one of the world’s leading wind power nations. We have set a goal of generating 50 percent of our power from clean energy sources by 2020 and aim to be entirely fossil fuel-free by 2050. At present, 40 per cent of Denmark’s electricity is powered by wind,” said H.E Berit Basse, Denmark’s Ambassador to Singapore.

The Finnish Government has a National Renewable Action Plan to achieve 38% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020 and plans to double its share of electricity produced by nuclear to 60% by 2025. It is promoting the use of biomass, wind power, biofuels and heat pumps to attain its renewables target.

In Norway, the government is focused on the sustainable use of natural resources. Renewable energy programmes and innovative technologies are introduced across all industries to meet the energy challenges. Around 99% of Norway’s electricity comes from hydropower plants.

Sweden has reduced its fossil fuel imports since 1973, and aims to become oil-free by 2020. The Swedish government has invested heavily in alternative energy sources to reduce carbon emissions, resulting in about 78% of Sweden’s electricity coming from nuclear and hydroelectric power, and 4% coming from wind power.

Several Nordic countries have taken different paths towards decarbonizing their energy systems in order to be completely independent of fossil energy by 2050. Through progressive efforts, like incentivising circular economies and shifting towards a greener energy mix, these Nordic countries have successfully demonstrated the feasibility of achieving sizeable economic growth without compromising on the quality of life. Today, the Nordic region collectively generates close to 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

Southeast Asia has some of the fastest growing economies in the world but its governments will be confronted with the challenge of balancing economic growth and energy security.

The seminar showcased the Nordic experiences and technologies that could provide useful insights for the Southeast Asian economies to develop appropriate policies and solutions to enable the transition to a greener energy mix and a wider use of energy-efficient technologies.

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“Southeast Asia’s growth still holds much promise for many who aspire for a better life. We must make sure this growth is sustainable. Most of the solutions required will come out of Asia but some will be inspired by advances made elsewhere. This seminar explores how relevant experiences from the Nordic region can form part of Asia’s future,” said H.E. Tormod C. Endresen, Norway’s Ambassador to Singapore, in his welcoming address.

In her speech ‘It is possible: Denmark’s green shift’ H.E Berit Basse, outlined the Danish example.

“It has become part of the Danish DNA to be green in every sense of the word. This includes green mark schemes for energy efficiency in buildings, and green policies for sectors such as the maritime industry, where requirements are put in place to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides and sulphur.“

The ambassador highlighted that Denmark has as the first country in the world introduced new technology (the so-called sniffer on bridges) in efforts to monitor air pollution from cargo ships, resulting that the amount of harmful sulfur in the air has dropped by 60 % thanks to cleaner ship fuel regulations.

“Green taxes account for approximately 5 % of Denmark’s GDP, and it is a proven fact in Denmark that the green taxes have a behavioural effect on the reduction of energy consumption and carbon emissions.”

And recently Denmark has taken it to a higher level, with the goal set for 2050.

“Today, more than 40 % of Danish electricity is covered by wind. In fact, on windy days, wind power can generate a lot more; such as on 9 July this year, where wind power provided 140 % of Denmark’s energy demand. That allowed us to meet our domestic electricity demand and at the same time export excess power to Norway, Germany and Sweden.”

“I’d like to stress that renewable energy does not have to be expensive, and I am pleased to tell you that Denmark is the country in Europe that produces the cheapest electricity,” Berit Basse continued.

She also gave a few examples of how green business can in fact be good business, and how it might be able to respond to the increasing growth and energy consumption that also takes place in Asia.

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