Singapore lowers 2030 emissions forecast, to boost hydrogen

SINGAPORE, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Singapore cut its forecast for its carbon dioxide emissions in 2030 and will achieve a peak in emissions earlier than that as the city-state strives to achieve net zero by 2050, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said on Tuesday.

Singapore plans to reduce its carbon emissions target for 2030 to 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), Wong said at the Singapore International Energy Week conference. The country previously aimed for emissions to peak at 65 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2030.

“We will now aim to peak our emissions earlier, and reduce our emissions to around 60 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2030," Wong said.

"This 5 million tonne improvement is significant as it is equivalent to reducing our current transport emissions by two thirds."

Wong did not specify in his speech what year Singapore's carbon emissions would peak.

A spokesperson for Singapore's National Climate Change Secretariat said that the exact peak emissions level and year would depend on the country's decarbonisation efforts, which will be affected by the technology used and the contributions of citizens and businesses.

As part of its decarbonisation plans, Wong launched the country's hydrogen strategy on Tuesday, saying the fuel could supply up to half of Singapore's power needs by 2050.

The city-state relies almost entirely on natural gas to generate power and has limited land to build solar facilities. It recently started importing renewable electricity from neighbouring Laos and Malaysia.

Singapore plans to issue an expression of interest for a small-scale commercial project utilising low-carbon ammonia for power generation.

"With this, Singaporeans may start to have access to electricity generated from low-carbon hydrogen from 2027," Wong said.

"Through this project, we also hope to catalyse the development of ammonia supply chains for marine bunkering needs."

An additional S$129 million ($90.63 million) will be set aside to support hydrogen research and development efforts through the Low Carbon Energy Research Project. This is on top of the S$55 million of research funding awarded to date.

The government also plans to develop hydrogen trading by creating standards and frameworks such as a guarantee of origin to certify the low-carbon origin of imported hydrogen, Wong said.

($1 = 1.4233 Singapore dollars)

Reporting by Emily Chow, Florence Tan, Isabel Kua and Matthew Chye; Editing by Kim Coghill and Christian Schmollinger

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