A month after the suspension of the planned Australia-Asia PowerLink (AAPL) amid a dispute among its key business partners, AAPL’s destination country, Singapore, signed new agreements with Cambodia and Indonesia to help the city-state reach its clean power goals.
Indonesia and Singapore signed agreements to bolster cooperation on renewable energy, cross-border electricity trading, transmission infrastructure, and renewable component manufacturing. Cambodia agreed to provide Singapore with 1 GW of renewable energy from a collection of projects with 2.5 GW of installed capacity. The 1 GW contribution would meet one-quarter of Singapore’s goal to import low-carbon electricity to satisfy 30% of its power demand by 2035. The electricity would flow through a 620-mile subsea cable, over 170 miles longer than the current longest cable between the UK and Norway, but substantially shorter than the 2,600-mile AAPL.
Why it matters: As the fate of Sun Cable’s $20 billion project remains uncertain, Singapore has moved forward in its mission to secure a stable supply of clean electricity. Although Singapore officials were quick to announce they hadn’t invested in AAPL, its apparent failure hasn’t deterred the city-state from pursuing ambitious undersea cable projects. Such projects may be necessary if Singapore wants to achieve net-zero public sector emissions by 2045 and nationwide net-zero emissions by 2050. As of June 2022, 95% of Singapore’s electricity generation came from oil and LNG imports. Indonesia, along with its Southeast Asian neighbors, will be critical to Singapore’s decarbonization success as the region’s most populous country utilizes $20 billion in financing from the International Partners Group to facilitate its shift to renewable energy. Indonesian officials temporarily halted renewable energy exports in June 2022 to prioritize domestic needs.