When talking sustainability in the local context, SP Group is definitely leading the way. The company is known for its suite of eco-friendly energy solutions for Singapore and the region.
But never one to rest on its laurels, S Harsha, Managing Director, Singapore, Sustainable Energy Solutions at SP Group, was energetic in his emphasis on sustainability as a central pillar of SP Group’s long-term strategy.
He was happy to speak with us on the low carbon, smart energy future SP Group envisions for Singapore and the region, and how youth movement can become the key driving force of change.
To start with, why should we care about sustainability?
Sustainability is about meeting our present needs and enabling the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Individuals, companies and governments must take positive and urgent action to mitigate and reverse the degradation of our natural resources or, simply put, life on earth as we know it will be at risk.
That’s a terrible future to think of! What is SP Group doing about it?
It cannot be us alone, collective action is required to urgently address our most imminent global challenges.
That said, we are proud to play a vital role safeguarding Singapore’s electricity supply for the future. To ensure we remain future ready to support Singapore’s sustainable growth, the key drivers of our energy future are decentralisation, decarbonisation, digitalisation, and electrification.
Decentralisation, innovating and upgrading our network technology to support the increase of renewable energy sources for a greener energy mix; decarbonsation, improving energy-efficiency, reducing electricity consumption and increasing clean energy sources towards reduction of our carbon footprint; digitalisation, harnessing the power of digitalisation to enhance the reliability and resilience of our network; and electrification, proactively investing in and leveraging smart energy solutions to enhance our grid’s capacity for renewable energy sources.
Can you tell us about some notable sustainable energy projects you were involved in?
Certainly. We have pioneered many low carbon, smart energy solutions in Singapore. These include district cooling and heating, integrated renewable energy systems, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and digital products that are tailored for commercial and industrial facilities, townships and districts, campuses and homes.
Could you go in-depth into one of these projects, and tell us the challenges SP Group faced in the implementation and how you overcame them?
Our work in Tengah in close collaboration with HDB comes to mind. It offers a unique opportunity for us to amalgamate all of SP’s capabilities and create a reference architecture for a sustainable township.
Our primary remit for the township is to deploy a residential version of the District Cooling System – the Centralised Cooling System (CCS). With completion coming up in phases from 2023, Tengah residents will soon enjoy the first large scale, public residential centralised cooling system in Singapore that is expected to help Tengah achieve 30 GWh/year in energy savings. This corresponds to avoiding carbon emissions from 4,500 cars on the roads. With CCS as an anchor, we integrated a variety of other solutions such as solar panels and EV charging, data platforms and digital technologies to transform Tengah into an eco-friendly, smart energy town. The technical and project team worked very closely with HDB and our partners throughout the design process to overcome operational challenges and meet efficiency and sustainable outcomes.
Lastly, what would you say to convince someone that they should adopt a more sustainable lifestyle?
The answer to this questions lies in a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “The earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
Sustainability means meeting our own needs and enabling the ability of future generations to meet theirs. We should not be creating problems for our children and future generations to solve, but a better future for them to enjoy.