July 22, 2024

Open Electricity Market – Is Singapore Ready For It?

Following its soft-launch in April 2018, the Open Electricity Market (OEM) is all set for a zone-wise rollout throughout Singapore starting November 1, 2018. The success of this project during the soft-launch has encouraged, as well as, catalysed its extension to all consumers islandwide. However, is Singapore ready for this new measure?

What is the Open Electricity Market?

Launching the Open Electricity Market means that consumers can choose to buy electricity from any retailer of their choice, as opposed to the earlier system, wherein, they had to rely on SP Group for their electricity supply. Consumers can now choose from among the plethora of standard and non-standard plans offered by other electricity providers, which are not only cheaper, when compared to the regulated tariffs, but also suit the unique requirements of various households and businesses.

Are There Any Guidelines For the Participating Retailers?

To prevent retailers from resorting to dishonest marketing practices, they have been banned from door-to-door marketing activities in the vicinity of residential areas. The reason is simple; the companies may try to sway the customers into buying electricity from them by giving cash rebates or free electricity offers, for the sole purpose of acquiring the maximum market share. The Energy Market Authority (EMA) may take action against retailers who violate its guidelines owing to the fact that however alluring such tactics are for consumers, they might not be the cheapest or the most eco-friendly.

Are There Any Other Goals For the OEM?

The OEM also aims at catalysing its solar energy production via participating retailers, so as to achieve a solar photovoltaic power target of 350MW by 2020. To realise this aim, several projects have been launched. One such project is the SolarNova Project which awards tenders from time to time. The third tender under this project, which is the largest one yet, has been given to Sembcorp Solar Singapore which intends to construct rooftop solar systems starting the third quarter of 2018 and culminating by the second quarter of 2020. The fourth tender is yet to come in 2019.

Are There Any Challenges to Generating Solar Energy?

One major setback to this is the lack of abundant space for the installation of large-scale solar systems. Being a key financial hub, and possessing all the crucial resources, such as capital raising, urban planning, efficient management and legal structuring, Singapore may assist in the development of renewable energy in Southeast Asia.

Final Thoughts

The new electricity market structure in Singapore not only aims at providing consumers with great electricity plans but at developing renewable energy islandwide too – with a special focus on solar energy. To add, many other measures are also being taken for switching from conventional to non-conventional energy resources. For instance, the carbon tax scheme which imposes $5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emission is also an effective strategy in the same direction. Being the “sunny island” that Singapore is, there is an abundance of solar energy – the OEM is one of the key projects that aims at effectively tapping into the available clean energy resources.

Click the following to know more about a retailer that powers the change in Singapore’s Open Electricity Market.

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