What does renewable energy mean to Singapore’s youth?

Singapore may be the smallest in size compared to other ASEAN Member States, but it has been implementing robust efforts in deploying renewable energy.

As a member of ASEAN, Singapore is tied to the region’s collective renewables target under the ASEAN’s blueprint for regional energy cooperation; ASEAN Plan of Actions for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016 – 2025. The APAEC set a regional target to increase renewable energy’s share of Asean’s energy mix to 23% by 2025.

Despite its geographical constraints which limits its renewables options to solar and waste-to-energy, Singapore aims to be a centre for research and development (R&D) in renewable energy.

Just last year, a Singapore’s R&D project won the ASEAN Energy Awards under the Renewable Energy Category. The project, floating solar photovoltaic testbed at Tengeh Reservoir, received ASEAN’s highest recognition in energy during the 36th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting Official Dinner in Singapore. Located in the tropical sunbelt with high solar potential, Singapore set its official target to raise solar capacity to 350 MWp by 2020 and 1 GWp beyond 2020. This number was halfway achieved in the third quarter of 2018, with total installed capacity of solar photovoltaic reaching 183.4 MWp.

Last month, more good news came from an R&D project. A two-year trial of using both waste water sludge and food waste to generate biogas has shown successful results according to the National Environment Agency. And the method will be applied to contribute to the electricity mix of Tuas Nexus Power Plant in 2025. Until the first quarter of 2018, the country’s waste contributed 256.8 MW to the total electricity capacity of 13,614 MW. This put Singapore in the first place of ASEAN Member States with the highest waste-to-energy capacity. 

Such efforts in research and development to increase the potential of renewable energy should be replicated in other ASEAN Member States, as the region is moving together to meet their collective renewables target. The public need to be more aware of their own countries’ and the region’s needs for sustainable energy. As a demographically young region, it only seems strategic to use the youth’s voice in raising awareness on the benefits of renewable energy. 

Based on the premise that effective public outreach and media messages can stimulate discussion and be influential, the ASEAN-German Energy Programme (AGEP), jointly implemented by ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), collaborates with ASEAN Foundation and ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT to run the 5th ASEAN Youth Video Contest (AYVC2019).

The objective of the AYVC2019 is to give a voice to ASEAN’s future leaders in raising awareness on renewable energy in ASEAN. As Acting Executive Director of ACE, Christopher Zamora, said: “ACE is very excited to be able to reach out to ASEAN youth through this video contest, organised by AGEP, one of our projects, with ASEAN Foundation and PROSPECT. This is something that ACE expects to do more to encourage future ASEAN leaders in taking a more active role in sustainable development.”

Themed ‘Renewable Energy: Powering ASEAN Bright Future’, AYVC2019 calls for video submissions from ASEAN citizens of 18 to 30 years old. With this contest, Singapore’s youth could share what they think of renewable energy and how the technologies could benefit their country and the region in general.

As AGEP aims to support the ASEAN Member States in enhancing awareness on the role of renewable energy, the programme made plans to implement a regional campaign that targets the youth, who account for more than 50% of ASEAN population. After gathering ASEAN stakeholders including representatives of Singapore’s youth from National University of Singapore last year to get their views on the planned activity, AGEP went on to collaborate with the ASEAN Foundation—who initiated the annual contest— to run the AYVC2019 with renewable energy as the theme.  

Annually endorsed by the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Youth, the contest takes different theme each year and always addresses issues that matter to the region. Last year, with the theme of ‘Youth Celebrating Diversity to Promote a Culture of Peace and Tolerance’, AYVC invited nine finalists from nine ASEAN Member States to a four-day video training in Singapore. Led by an expert, the trainees refined their video-making skills and afterwards produced revised videos to be considered for the final 3 winners. This 5th edition will bring together one (1) selected finalist from each ASEAN Member State to Hanoi, Vietnam, to enjoy similar training, which will be hosted by Vietnam Journalists Association.  From the 10 finalists, the judges will select three (3) final winners who will receive attractive prizes worth up to USD 2,250 in total.   

The organisers are encouraging Singapore’s youth to submit their videos. It is an opportunity for the youth to share their views on the meaning of renewable energy for their country and their generation.  Participants are required to create a YouTube channel and submit the YouTube video link.

The organisers will then display their submissions on the website’s gallery. Deadline to submit the 60-second videos is 5 March 2019. The training for the 10 finalists will take place in May 2019.

More information can be found on AYVC2019’s Facebook page.

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