Thursday, November 18, 2021

Commentary: Singapore’s plans to import clean electricity could meet resistance abroad

Importing electricity helps Singapore meet energy needs and climate goals, but such plans are contingent on benign political conditions within exporting countries, say researchers.

Quah Say Jye

Kevin Chen

29 Oct 2021 

SINGAPORE: As COP26 approaches, Singapore has made several announcements regarding plans to decarbonise its energy sector.

Chief among them is its plan to import 30 per cent of its electricity from low-carbon or renewable sources by 2035.

Amid the global energy crunch and disruptions to the local electricity retail market, Singapore’s plans to diversify its energy sources are a welcome development.

However, purchasing electricity overseas exposes Singapore to the internal political dynamics of its partners.

Importing electricity is not simply a convenience for Singapore, but a necessary measure to meet its electricity needs and climate goals.

Around 95 per cent of Singapore’s electricity supply is dependent on imports of natural gas.

Plans to indigenously produce renewable energy through rooftop and floating solar installations are important steps but would at best fulfil 4 per cent of the island’s electricity needs by 2030.

3D-printed steaks are now being served at restaurants across Europe

Redefine Meat, an Israeli fake meat startup, plans to expand beyond these 30+ restaurants, and eventually into grocery stores.

NOVEMBER 17, 2021



Frankly, we don’t talk often enough about the versatility of 3D printers: They can produce mechanical parts, figurines, housing developments, and...also…steak.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

7 reasons global transport is so hard to decarbonise


NOVEMBER 12, 2021

Even if current and committed emission policies were to succeed, transport’s carbon emissions would still grow almost 20 per cent by 2050.

Transport accounts for 21 per cent of global carbon emissions.

It is now the largest emitting sector in many developed countries. While Europe and North America dominate historic transport emissions, much of the projected growth in emissions is in Asia.

Even if current and committed policies were to succeed, transport’s carbon emissions would still grow almost 20 per cent by 2050.

Highly ambitious policies could cut these emissions by 70 per cent — but not to zero.

Here are seven reasons global transport is particularly hard to decarbonise.\

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Commentary: Worrying signs COP26 is being set up for failure

There are worrying signs to suggest these most consequential of climate change talks are being set up for failure, says a climate researcher.

Anthony Burke

30 Oct 2021

CANBERRA: In just days, the most consequential climate meeting in human history begins in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Earth has warmed by up to 1.3 degrees Celsius since 1880. Devastating fires, cyclones and weather are wreaking havoc around the world.

And current emissions trends put the world on a path toward 3 degrees Celsius of catastrophic heating by 2100, which would trigger tipping points such as the melting of the poles, the loss of the Amazon rainforest, and a drastic slowdown in the Atlantic ocean circulation.

Under the Paris Agreement, this year countries must submit new nationally determined commitments (NDCs) to reduce emissions consistent with holding global heating well below 2 degrees Celsius and as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible.

Yet a recent United Nations assessment of existing NDCs estimates that they will only hold heating to 2.7 degrees Celsius – and then only if they are implemented. The UN’s recent Production Gap report, which finds that countries are planning to produce 190 per cent more fossil fuels by 2040 than is consistent with the 1.5 degrees Celsius guardrail, puts the sincerity of these commitments in doubt.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Plans to import 30% of S’pore’s energy from low-carbon sources by 2035: EMA


OCTOBER 25, 2021

SINGAPORE — Plans are afoot to diversify Singapore’s power supply, as well as lower the nation’s carbon footprint by importing around 30 per cent of its energy from low-carbon sources by 2035.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) announced on Monday (Oct 25) during the Singapore International Energy Week that it will be issuing two requests for proposals for up to 4 gigawatts (GW) of low-carbon electricity imports.

The authority said the first request for proposal will be launched in November this year and it will begin importing up to 1.2 GW of electricity by 2027.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

“Heard of Abu Nuwas liquor?”: Siti Kasim shares her thoughts on the Timah controversy

By G Vinod

19 Oct 2021

WITH the Timah whiskey controversy riling up the right-wing movements in Malaysia, a lawyer-activist told the latter of how the Arab world itself has its own popular alcoholic beverage.

According to Siti Kasim, Haddad Distilleries of Jordan is selling their own alcoholic beverage called Abu Nuwas Arak.

“The name denotes Abu Nuwas, a weird drunk poet who lived during the time of the Abbasid Caliphate. He was born in Iran, in 756, but died in Iraq, in 814. He lived during the reign of Caliph Harun Al Rashid and was even mentioned in the popular Arabic tale, One Thousand and One Nights.

“The man was also said to be a hafiz (those who memorised the al-Quran),” she said in a Facebook post.

Recently, the award-winning local liquor brand Timah got embroiled in a controversy after several groups called it being disrespectful to the Malays and Muslims.

Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia (MAPIM) president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said that using the name Timah for a whiskey brand was insulting Muslims, claiming Timah was short for Fatimah, who was Prophet Muhammad’s daughter.

He also argued that the image of the bearded man on the bottle resembled a Muslim man in a kopiah.

“More insolent is the liquor’s advertisement uses the image of a man in kopiah with a long beard as if showing the someone with Muslim image is promoting liquor,” Azmi was reported saying.

Surprisingly, even the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) took offence to the whiskey brand, claiming it was insulting to Muslims.

“Apart from the alcohol content, CAP does not understand how the ministry could approve the name and image (of the product) which can cause anger,” its education officer NV Subbarow added.

However, the company shot back at its critics by saying that the man featured on the bottle was not a Muslim man but a British officer named Tristram Charles Sawyer Speedy, or more popularly known as Captain Speedy.

Arab man’s face on Abu Nuwas Arak

Speedy served in British Malaya from 1861 to 1874 as an administrator to restore order during the Larut wars in Perak. He was also credited of bringing the whiskey culture in the local tin mining sector back then.

“And the word Timah is a local word meaning tin. The name ‘Timah Whiskey’ harks back to the tin mining era during British Malaya. Any interpretation of our name unrelated to Malaysian mining is false,” it mentioned.

On MAPIM’s argument that attributing the word Timah to a whiskey was offensive, Siti Kasim pointed out that the Abu Nawas liquor has Arabic script on it, complete with an Arab man’s face attached to the bottle.

“If our religious fellows read all these, they will tear off in rage their beards, the hairs from their armpits, pubic areas, nostrils and if they can reach for it, their anal hairs,” she added in jest. – Oct 19, 2021.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Commentary: Japan’s baby bust should force a rethink about demanding jobs and never-ending growth

Efforts to boost Japan’s low fertility rate will not solve near term labour shortages and other pressing burdens without embracing a new mindset, says a professor.

Rapidly-greying Japan has one of the world's lowest birth rates (Photo: AFP/KAZUHIRO NOGI)

Chelsea Szendi Schieder

17 Oct 2021 

TOKYO: Japan has been declared the world’s first super-aged society and a pioneer shrinking society, rapidly inverting the demographic pyramid upon which the modern state has been built.

Since 1989, when the low fertility rate of 1.57 became a major social concern, numbers have continued to trend downward. In June 2020, the Japanese government announced the preliminary results of the 2020 census, revealing that the number of births in that year was the lowest on record.