Highlights from the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES) 2019

Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES) 2019

On 30 October, Er. Edwin Khew, the Chairman of Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), launched the sixth edition of the Asia Clean Energy Summit. In his welcome address, he highlighted the catastrophic implications for the planet if we continue business as usual.


“Southeast Asia will be most affected by several parts under the threat of submersion. We need to take action now. We are witnessing several examples of climate change, including the fires in California fires and the typhoons in Japan. Oceans are heating 2 to 3 degrees. However, not all is gloom and doom. We have the technology to solve the problems we are facing,” said Mr Khew.


In his speech at the 2019 Asia Clean Energy Summit, Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, reiterated that Singapore is committed to meeting climate change goals. “We have pledged to reduce our emissions intensity in 2030 by 36 per cent from 2005 levels, and to stabilise our emissions to peak around 2030,” he said.

He highlighted the several innovative solutions that Singapore has taken to ramp up sustainable energy production, including but not limited to PUB’s adoption of floating solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. He also stressed the importance of partnering with industry players to support Singapore's energy transition, providing examples of work done with TES and REC Group.


Addressing the Asia Clean Energy Summit 2019, Francesco La Camera, the Director-General of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), spoke about the importance of scaling up action and investment for the energy transformation.

He stressed that the move to sustainable energy systems provides significant opportunities for creating jobs and boosting industries. He highlighted that the renewable energy sector had created 11 million jobs today. By 2050, Asians will benefit from over 26.8 million jobs in the industry – representing over half of the jobs in the global renewable energy sector.


Jon Moore, Chief Executive Officer, BloombergNEF, spoke about the technological, financial and policy innovations required to ensure that approximately that 50 per cent of electricity is generated from renewables by 2050. He asked the question on everyone’s minds – is meeting this 50 per cent target enough to meet the decarbonization targets for a 2- or a 1.5-degree scenario?

“The global power mix will transform significantly by the middle of the century with the use of renewables projected to increase by over 150 per cent. Even this will not be enough to meet the energy requirements of power, heat and road transport. We need to look at alternate technologies such as hydrogen, biogas and carbon capture and storage (CCS), among others,” he said.


During the event, Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry, was given a tour of the ACES exhibition floor, led by Er. Edwin Khew, the Chairman of Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), and Ms. Kavita Gandhi, Executive Director at SEAS. Dr. Koh was introduced to a variety of innovative solutions and technologies from our PowerACE finalists, Ecolab’s start-ups, key sponsors and industry players.

During the Driving Clean Energy Transitions in Asia session, Mr Frank Phuan, CEO and Executive Director of Sunseap Group, highlighted the difficulties in installing solar panels on Singapore’s HDB rooftops. He emphasised the need to create innovative solutions such as Singapore’s first Grid Level Energy Storage Systems (ESS) project in Punggol, with a capacity of 2MWh.

The development of a digital energy ecosystem was the focus of a panel at the Digital Transformation of Energy track. Panellists discussed emerging business models such as blockchain, P2P energy trading and virtual power plants along with the roadmap required to integrate these models in existing ecosystems.

Here are some additional highlights from ACES 2019:

  • The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with several partners such as the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore, Binh Thuan Wind Energy Association from Vietnam, Thailand Wind Energy Association and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
  • ACES 2019 also saw the launch of a carbon white paper by the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) which identifies key opportunities for Singapore to accelerate its decarbonisation efforts across the energy value and supply chain.
  • The Floating Solar Handbook for Practitioners was launched at the International Floating Solar Symposium. The handbook outlines best practices from the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) Tengah Reservoir testbed, in conjunction with industry experience across the world. The handbook aims to build trust and increase knowledge sharing among key opinion leaders and government bodies to de-risk floating photo-voltaic systems.

Other key events featured this year include:

  • The PowerACE pitching competition, featuring 12 start-ups from across the globe. The winning pitch stands to walk away with $50,000 in grants.
  • Asian Conference on Energy Power and Transportation Electrification, which focused on emerging topics that include smart grids, advanced power electronics using wide bandgap devices such as solid state transformers and microgrids.
  • The Unlocking Solar Capital Asia & Financial Summit, featuring a CEO Fireside chat, saw leading panellists delve into the bankability of projects, the importance of interacting with regulators and the development of new business models.
  • Deep Dive Workshops on Mini-grids and Cooling Solutions.
  • The Asia Forum on Climate and Clean Energy Financing, held in partnership with the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN), showcased a range of innovative clean energy technology and business practices.

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