Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) is exploring the potential of harnessing geothermal energy in the island nation, following new developments in technology.

If determined to be feasible, geothermal energy could serve as a new and additional source of indigenous clean energy besides solar for power generation in Singapore.

The city state is in a region of Southeast Asia with quality geothermal resources deep underground, noted the EMA.

With support from the National Research Foundation, the authority is working closely with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and various ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the National Climate Change Secretariat, to perform exploratory studies on geothermal potential.

These studies will focus on determining the geothermal resource potential in northern and eastern Singapore – areas that have been identified to hold geothermal potential based on their higher surface temperature measurements.

The exploratory studies aim to establish preliminary findings by the end of 2022. If they yield positive results, EMA will explore undertaking further research to determine the viability and scalability of deploying geothermal systems in Singapore.

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Singapore could potentially see the adoption of geothermal energy for power generation in the future and be one of the first countries to deploy next-generation geothermal systems in a densely populated city.

“More importantly, it would support Singapore’s effort to lower its power sector’s carbon emissions and help meet its climate change targets,” noted the EMA.

As a small, resource-constrained country, Singapore has limited renewable energy options and imports almost all of its energy needs.

Conventional hydrothermal systems, which harness heat from underground resources of hot water and/or steam, may not be applicable to Singapore due to the lack of quality resources at shallower depths.

However, advances in technology such as advanced geothermal systems have opened up the possibility of geothermal application in Singapore, by harnessing heat from deep hot dry rock, with minimal impact to environment and safety.

The EMA is a statutory board under Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.