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Singapore, A Global and Transport Hub Ijaz Cheema

The Singapore is an Island and its territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets.

Stamford Raffles founded colonial Singapore in 1819 as a trading post of the British East India Company; after the latter’s collapse in 1858, the islands were ceded to the British Raj as a crown colony.

During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by Japan. It gained independence from the UK in 1963 by federating with other former British territories to form Malaysia, but separated two years later over ideological differences, becoming a sovereign nation in 1965. After early years of turbulence and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation developed rapidly as an Asian Tiger economy, based on external trade and its workforce.

Singapore is a global commerce, finance and transport hub. Its standings include: the most “technology-ready” nation (WEF), top International-meetings city (UIA), city with “best investment potential” (BERI), world’s smartest city, safest country, third-most competitive country, third-largest foreign exchange market, third-largest financial centre, third-largest oil refining and trading centre and the second-busiest container port.

The country has also been identified as a tax haven. In 2018 the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Singapore for the fifth year in a row as the most expensive city to live in the world. Singapore is the only country in Asia with a AAA credit rating from the world’s major rating agencies and its port and Changi Airport has held the titles of best maritime port and airport respectively for consecutive years.

Singapore ranks 5th on the UN Human Development Index and the 3rd highest GDP per capita. It is ranked highly in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing. In 2018, Singaporean citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 180 countries and territories, ranking the Singapore passport first in the world. Although income inequality is high, 90 percent of homes are owner-occupied. 38% of Singapore’s 5.6 million residents are permanent residents and other foreign nationals. There are four official languages: English (common and first language), Malay, Mandarin and Tamil; almost all Singaporeans are bilingual.

Singapore is a unitary multiparty parliamentary republic, with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. One of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is also the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat and a member of the East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Singapore has planned now a pilot city to run autonomous electric cars, trucks and buses without drivers on an Island in a bid for clean environment and savings by switching from gasoline and diesel.

The government of Singapore has allotted a land to Energy Research Institute (NTU) in an Island Semaku to plan a city where cars, buses and trucks Will run on electricity.

This will be a test case to run cars, buses and trucks without drivers in a city planned on an Island, Dr Anshuman Tripathi Program director Future Mobility System Energy Research Institute (NTU) Singapore.

He said that power plants owners had been throwing waste on Semakau which had become an Island to develop a city. He said that this project was being launched with partnership of Singapore government. He said that 11 smart grids had been set up on this island and first phase would be completed next year. He further said that investors would also be offered to invest in this project.

He said that regulatory body of Singapore would issue licenses to different parties to run their transport services in this island. He said that around 27 buses were operating without drivers in port area. However, it seems difficult to run these buses in other parts for public transport fearing accidents.

While addressing a conference IEEE PES ISGT Asia 2018, he said that clean transport connectivity was main theme behind electrifying the vehicles. However, he said that there were some challenges like how small grid would afford withdrawal of electricity. He further said that manufacturers of cars would also face problems to enable vehicles to charge electricity in cars as someone would need slow and some fast charging batteries.

He said that batteries were not available for second life for storages. He said they could try to recycle batteries but technology was not mature at this stage for this purpose. He said that there would be saving of 44, 56 and 41  percent savings if private, public vehicles and taxis are switched from fuel to electricity respectively.

Dr.R. Nagaraja Managing Director Power Research and Development Consultants Pvt. Ltd. India said that India had set target of adding 175 Gigawatt by 2022 from renewable energy. The power generation through wind and solar stood at 32.96 Gw and 19.5 Gw respectively by March 31,2018.

However, he said that there were challenges like accurate forecasting, extra burden on generation and sensitive weather for renewable energy. He said that storage of electricity and tariff structure  were must for transport sector.

He said India had formulated policy that all electric vehicles would be sold by 2030.UK plans to have all cars zero emissions by 2040.China is also committed to ban to use of gasoline and diesel in cars. However, it has to set timeline yet. He said  that ideas of electrifying highways and airports were being discussed. He pointed out that  power market services and infrastructure coupled with navigation system would require to electrifying vehicles.

Nirin Der Singh Jottl head New Production Development Distribution Division Tenaga Nasional Berhad Malysia said that market required business model for electronic vehicles and energy storages. He said that customers should be encouraged to add power through solar panels. He said that electricity through solar resources could be supplied to electrical vehicles at agreed tariff. He said that regulator would have to set tariff and electric vehicles could be charged through smart payment.

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