By the year 2050, the world’s population could grow from the current estimated 7.7 billion people to 9.7 billion, and around 70% are expected to live in cities. Even with a huge improvement in energy efficiency, the world is likely to be using 50% more energy by 2070, compared to today.
To meet this rising demand, society will need to make fundamental changes in how energy is produced and consumed, while reducing impact to the environment. This will also require unprecedented collaboration between policy-makers, industry, civil society, and consumers across the global economy.
This year, themed “Co-creating City+”, the 2019 Shell Powering Progress Together forum in Singapore explored how different players can come together to co-create, collaborate and re-imagine the future of cities, to build what we call ‘City+’.
Shell’s “Living Lab” approach – innovating in actual living environments
At this year’s event graced by Guest-of-Honour, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, Shell launched its first global City Solutions Living Lab in Singapore to help cities around the world navigate their energy transition towards a lower carbon future.
General Manager of Shell City Solutions, Emily Tan, said, “When collaborating with cities, we take a holistic view of their unique needs. The City Solutions Living Lab will originate opportunities with city stakeholders through co-visioning workshops that identify pathways towards a lower carbon future. We then innovate a suite of solutions with commercially viable business models that help meet the city’s carbon reduction goals. Our team will bring in various Shell expertise available globally for seamless implementation and deployment. We can also offer unique access to an extensive network of technology partners, suppliers and contractors.”
Clean energy case studies in Singapore and the region
Shell chose to base its first City Solutions Living Lab in Singapore due to the city-state’s active push for energy transition and sustainability, its pro-business environment and Shell’s presence in Singapore.
“Shell and Singapore have had a long history of working together, in building businesses that create sustained and meaningful value. Not only are our assets in Singapore being used as live test beds to pilot new technologies, the larger Singapore ecosystem also enables Shell to push innovative thinking even further. Energy solutions that we develop successfully here can potentially be replicated in cities around the world,” said Aw Kah Peng, Chairman, Shell Companies in Singapore.
“I am delighted that Shell has chosen Singapore to be the location for its first City Solutions Living Lab. Shell’s decision to develop new energy solutions in Singapore is in line with our focus on energy sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. We intend to work with Shell, and other like-minded companies, to address the needs of countries in the region and beyond in their transition to become low carbon economies,” said Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman, Singapore Economic Development Board.
To date, Shell has worked with city officials, think-tanks, private industry players and community leaders in cities such as Singapore, Chennai (India) and Perth (Australia). With the launch of the Living Lab, Shell can now offer its collaboration architecture to more cities.
In Singapore, Shell City Solutions has worked with PSA Singapore to understand the energy needs of the Pasir Panjang Terminal and the future Tuas Port. Together, Shell and PSA identified opportunities for carbon reduction such as switching to cleaner fuel options and the study of a near net-zero energy building.
Shell has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Energy Market Authority of Singapore (EMA) to jointly work on spurring the adoption of energy storage systems (ESS). This will be achieved through piloting use cases and designing effective business models. Increased ESS adoption will support the deployment of more solar photovoltaic in Singapore.
Students imagine the future of Asian and Middle Eastern cities
Beyond these efforts, Shell also engages youths through its Imagine the Future Scenarios Competition, which is part of the highlights at PPT, to discuss the energy possibilities of tomorrow in Asian and Middle Eastern cities.
This year, a total of 237 university students and more than 40 teams from across Singapore, China, Thailand and Egypt took part in the competition. The winning national teams from each country shared their contrasting visions of future Asian and Middle Eastern cities by 2050 at this year’s PPT Forum, and first place went to the University of Science and Technology in Zewail City, Egypt.
Powering Progress Together (PPT) is a global series of engagements convened by Shell to encourage dialogue about future energy challenges.