Will the alternative energies impact our shores? In particular, technologies such as algae-based biofuels and power generation from waves. Wind turbines can also affect bats, birds and other flying creatures.
Here's a summary of some published details about the project.
The project comprises five inter-connected grids serving Pulau Ubin's north, south, east, west and jetty regions. It will cover the 100 inhabitants, small businesses, restaurants and the outdoor training camp Outward Bound Singapore.
The micro-grids will rely on renewable energy such as solar, biofuel, and micro wind turbines. It will be an intelligent power grid which will get around uncertain and patchy power supply, e.g., if the wind dies down. The Ubin grid will be the first to pull and redistribute electricity for a confined area.
The project is intended to supply the Ubin community, as well as to testbed clean technology. Experts said the technology for such micro-grid projects could be exported and implemented in other parts of the region.
The Energy Market Authority (EMA) will accept "expression of interest" in this project over the next month. The first phase covering the jetty area is expected to start in 2010. Each grid is estimated to take about two years to complete.
The islanders now live 'off-grid' and rely on their own diesel power generators. Pulau Ubin does not draw electricity from the country's main power grid because it has been too expensive to lay transmission cables for the low demand there.
Mr Robert Teo of the National Parks Board which manages Ubin, said NParks would need to see a development plan to assess the impact of the grid on Ubin's plants and animals, including those on its Chek Jawa intertidal flats.
Last November, The Energy Market Authority (EMA) announced plans to embark on a project to turn Pulau Ubin into a model 'green island' powered entirely by clean and renewable energy.
At that time, a long list of potential technologies were considered, including solar, wind, marine ('waves'), biomass (such as solid waste and algae), biodiesel and bioethanol, hydrogen and fuel cells, microturbine.
There was an assurance that the technologies adopted would be those that "best integrate into the island's natural environment".
A tender for a six-month consultancy study was called, slated for completion in May 09. It was to look at how much energy is needed by residents on the 10 sq km island, and the most cost-effective combination of renewable energy technologies that can be used.
EMA sees the project to transform part of Pulau Ubin into a model 'green' island as boosting Singapore's ambition to be a global test-bedding site for new energy technologies.
Articles on the Pulau Ubin power project
- Ubin to be test-bed for clean energy Power grid will harness electricity from variety of renewable sources, Grace Chua, Straits Times 19 Nov 09;
- EMA to call for proposals to develop Pulau Ubin micro-grid Rachel Kelly, Channel NewsAsia 18 Nov 09;
- Ubin, the clean-energy island Island to become model 'green island' powered by clean and renewable energy, Tania Tan & Amresh Gunasingham, Straits Times 8 Nov 08;
- Ubin to host testing site for 'green' energy Alternative sources that will be test-bedded include solar, wind and biodiesel, Ronnie Lim, Business Times 8 Nov 08;
- Seaweed as biofuel: the pros and cons
- Impact Of Renewable Energy On Our Oceans Must Be Investigated, Say Scientists ScienceDaily 17 Sep 09;
- How a wind farm could emit more carbon than a coal power station Fred Pearce, guardian.co.uk 13 Aug 09;
- U.S. Groups Say Vast Areas Off Limits To Clean Energy Jonathan Ernst, PlanetArk 2 Apr 09;
- Wind turbines pose danger to migratory bats: study Yahoo News 26 Aug 08;
- How to stop biofuel crops becoming invasive IUCN 23 Apr 09;
- Inconvenient truths: Don't believe the greenwash The Independent 3 Mar 09;