SERIS Invests SGD 3 Million Over 3 Years to Establish the "National Solarisation Centre" (NSC) in Singapore

SERIS recently announced the establishment of the "National Solarisation Centre" (NSC) which will provide technical expertise to public and private sectors to promote large-scale solar energy adoption in Singapore.

Singapore (I-Newswire) December 11, 2013 - The Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) recently announced the establishment of the "National Solarisation Centre" (NSC) which aims to support the large-scale deployment of solar PV systems in Singapore through the provision of technical expertise to both public and private sectors. NSC will address the gaps in the market that have hindered the greater adoption of solar power so far and thereby contribute to the sustainable development efforts and reduction of carbon emissions in Singapore in the long run.

Market failures and gaps in solar power deployment in Singapore

The cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems has fallen substantially over the past few years and solar electricity has become cost-competitive in many countries around the world, including Singapore.
Despite the cost competitiveness, there are still fundamental market failures and gaps. One such factor is that potential users of solar electricity are not aware of these opportunities, which is that they can save money while having a positive impact on the environment. Even with that knowledge, the technical know-how that is required may be daunting to prospective solar system adopters. There is also lack of critical mass of system integration capabilities in Singapore to handle a much larger volume of adoption.
On a national level, Singapore as a city state is naturally constraint in the amount of space for the installation of the solar systems. So exploring new areas that can be utilised for solar applications is of high importance. In addition, as more solar power comes on-line, the Singapore power grid operator has to understand and manage the impact of the variable output of all these solar power systems on the electric power grid. The output of solar installations fluctuates with the available sunlight, which depends on cloud coverage and the time of the day.

How does the National Solarisation Centre (NSC) address these challenges?

First of all, NSC will act as information platform through upgrading the "National Solar Repository" (NSR,, which was launched in 2011 as a cross-institutional effort lead by SERIS (together with Singapore Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic). It collects and shares information about solar PV installations in Singapore. Currently, NSR covers about 30% of Singapore's PV installations, comparing detailed system data (size, technology, location, pictures, etc.), but also performance data. In addition, the NSR website has a live link to SERIS' meteorological station and provides general information on PV technology and system integrators.

In addition, NSC will assess the full potential of solar power in Singapore ("Solar Potential Analysis"). To achieve this, the surface of Singapore has to be scanned from flight recordings. Specialised software tools will then be used to calculate the potential of individual roofs that are free of shading or obstructions. Eventually these results will be made available to the general public through an interactive website that would not only show the potential for PV for each roof, but also provides economic calculations about the profitability of PV installations.

To overcome the limited rooftop space, one of the possible options in Singapore is the use of water reservoirs, which take up substantial space on the main island. Such systems would then have to be "floating" in nature ("Floating PV test-bedding"). This is a new way of placing solar PV systems, which has only been demonstrated in a few trials around the world, but not fully commercialised. Therefore such test-bedding would not just open an interesting option for space-constraint locations such as Singapore, but also provide the opportunity to establish Singapore as innovation hub for floating PV systems, be it in-land (as in this test-bed) or later also for off-shore applications.

Eventually, NSC will also address the PV grid integration, given the variability of the solar output. The impact of this variability on the power systems has to be studied in more detail and benchmarked with best international practices that are then applied on the specific case of Singapore ("PV grid integration study").
"We are delighted to provide our expertise to the 'solarisation' of Singapore. The potential for PV deployment in Singapore is enormous, and we are convinced that in the mid- to long-term about 10-20% of the nation's electricity demand will be contributed from solar PV. Providing the framework for this and assisting the public and private sector to adopt solar PV in large scale is our goal with NSC", said Dr Thomas REINDL, Deputy CEO of SERIS and Cluster Director for Solar Energy Systems at the institute.

About SERIS:
Founded in 2008, SERIS is Singapore's national institute for applied solar energy research. The institute conducts research, development, testing and consulting in the fields of solar energy conversion and solar building technologies, to contribute towards a sustainable global energy supply and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. SERIS' R&D focus is on materials, components, processes and systems for (i) photovoltaic electricity generation and (ii) solar and energy efficient buildings. SERIS is globally active but focuses on technologies and services for tropical regions, in particular for Singapore and South-East Asia.

Contact person at SERIS:
Public Relations
Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS)
National University of Singapore (NUS)
7 Engineering Drive 1
Block E3A, #06-00
Singapore 117574
Tel. +65 6601 1742


The Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) is Singapore's national institute for appli   More..ed solar energy research. It commenced operations on 1st April 2008. SERIS is sponsored by Singapore's National Research Foundation (NRF) via the Economic Development Board (EDB), as well as the National University of Singapore (NUS). It has the stature of an NUS University-level Research Institute and is endowed with considerable autonomy and flexibility, including an industry friendly intellectual property policy. SERIS is globally active but focuses on technologies and services for tropical regions, in particular for Singapore and South-East Asia, and reaches out to India and China.Less..

Contact Information

Aditi Sridhar
7 Engineering Drive 1 Block E3A #06-01
Phone : (65) 6601 1742

Published On:

December 11, 2013

Print Release:

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