February 8, 2023

Sun Cable has yet to get approval from the regulator in Singapore, but has said it has received expressions of interest from its private sector for a total of 2.5 GW, indicating that demand far exceeds its plan to transmit 1.75 GW by cable from a giant solar and battery farm in Australia. .

While the geographically tiny Southeast Asian nation has alternatives, more feasible through importing hydropower from Laos via Thailand and Malaysia, and solar power from Indonesia’s nearby Riau Islands, Sun Cable has plenty of appeal, according to Dr. Philip Andrews-Speed, senior principal investigator. Fellow at the Institute of Energy Studies of the National University of Singapore.

“This is one of the many strings in his clean energy bow,” he said.

“Singapore will need to import renewable energy and I think the good thing about Sun Cable, from Singapore’s point of view, is that it’s a big project, it’s from (part of) a country that doesn’t have a lot of demand and Australia is a politically reliable partner. So that makes the project, in principle, interesting, although its credibility has taken a hit.”

Sun Cable’s $30+ billion Australia-Asia PowerLink project.

Andrews-Speed ​​said there was a lot of skepticism in Singapore about whether Australia-Asia PowerLink would ever come to fruition, but the company’s troubles led him to think about another privately financed landmark project.

Charging

“Remember the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France,” he said. “The first idea to do it was in 1802 and it was only inaugurated in 1994.

“Many people in Singapore (have) said ‘that will never happen.’ My opinion (has been) ‘I’m not an engineer, but if engineers put their minds to it, it’s expensive, but it will happen.’

See also  Google and Microsoft add more renewable energy for datacenters

“Really ambitious infrastructure projects are going through these difficult times. So I don’t think it’s all over (but) it will clearly be delayed.”

The impact of Sun Cable’s woes can also be felt in Indonesia. Two months ago, the company announced a deal with the Jakarta government to develop plans for an inter-island power grid that it said could help unlock $115 billion ($166 billion) of green energy.

Sun Cable chief executive David Griffin was also among the delegation of Australian business leaders who accompanied Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Indonesia in June, just two weeks after Labor won federal elections.

Get a note directly from our foreigner correspondents about what’s in the headlines around the world. Sign up for the weekly What in the World newsletter here.