Singapore has started importing renewable energy from Laos via Thailand and Malaysia, marking the first renewable energy import into Singapore, as reported by Strait Times on June 23. Specifically, Lao stated-owned power supplier Electricite Du Laos (EDL) will transmit up to 100 megawatts (MW) of hydropower into Singapore under an agreement inked last September between EDL and Singapore’s power producer Keppel Electric [KEP:SP]. The cross-border power trade scheme, named Lao PDR-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP), is a step forward in developing a broader power grid in the ASEAN region, according to a joint statement by Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA), the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Laos, EDL, and Keppel Electric.
The power integration project was designed to study the feasibility of cross-border power trade. Laos has abundant hydropower resources that contribute over 90% of the country’s total electricity consumption. As the world’s third-largest electricity exporter, Laos sold respectively USD1.76bn, USD126m, USD98.2m, and USD65.3m of electricity to its neighboring countries of Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam in 2020. The renewable power imports from Laos could help Singapore get rid of its reliance on natural gas and move toward net-zero carbon emission. At present, around 95% of Singapore’s electricity output is generated from natural gas. The country plans to leverage solar power, regional power grids, and other low-carbon alternatives such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies to realize its climate commitment to net-zero emissions by or around mid-century.