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Singapore Standard 673: Overview for Renewable Energy Buyers and Sellers

Corporate demand for renewable electricity in Singapore has continued to grow much faster than renewable capacity growth on the island. With many large local and multi-national consumers and very finite land space, the government and buyers have started looking for ways to reliably obtain renewables from within Singapore and the greater region, while numerous renewable energy tracking systems look to bring renewable energy certificate options to the market.

With this backdrop, the Singapore Standards Council (SSC) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) have recently launched “Singapore Standard 673: Code of practice for Renewable Energy Certificates,” a set of voluntary rules for the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) ecosystem in Singapore. SS 673 is intended to facilitate consistency in the production, tracking, management, and usage of RECs for making renewable energy claims in Singapore. CRS was invited to be on the working group for SS 673, as an expert on international tracking system design, and are happy to have contributed to on the development of the standard.

CRS has many years of experience in supporting the development of renewable energy options in Asia, and currently provides Green-e™ certification in Singapore. CRS staff has received numerous questions about SS 673, and hopes to answer a few common questions about SS 673 that might interest renewable energy buyers and sellers and to help the standard be understood and used appropriately. This overview won’t go into the details of the rules for tracking systems themselves, since that is the bulk of the text of the standard.

What is SS 673?

The Singapore Standards Council and Enterprise Singapore, together with the National Environment Agency and Energy Market Authority, have launched the new Singapore Standard (SS) 673: Code of Practice for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) on 26 Oct 2021.

SS 673 is meant to provide guidance on the REC ecosystem in Singapore by setting rules for REC tracking systems that will offer REC retirements for Singapore load. The standard covers issues related to the administrative, measurement, reporting, and verification functions performed by tracking systems, such as generator registration and verification, avoiding double registration, account types, REC transfers and retirements, public reporting of RECs, and metering.

While SS 673 is a voluntary standard, not a national law or requirement, it is likely that tracking systems wishing to serve the Singapore market will conform to these rules, helping to standardize how RECs are issued, tracked, and retired.

How Does SS 673 Interact With Other Market Players?

The standard is not a certification label or retail sales certification like the Green-e™ program, nor is it a tracking system itself. Likewise, it is not a customer recognition program like CDP or RE100. Rather, it supports all of these types of entities by setting expectations for tracking and market functionality, up to the point of REC retirement.

The standard also does not directly set rules for renewable energy sellers and buyers. However, it does set rules on renewable resources that may be tracked, discusses procurement types and provides recommendations on consumer renewable energy claims.

How Does SS 673 Interact With the Green-e&Trade; Program Specifically?

SS 673 lays the groundwork for certifications like the Green-e™ program to operate in Singapore and to do so more efficiently. In Singapore, the Green-e™ program requires that tracking systems be used for certified transactions in most cases, and screens available tracking systems against a set of eligibility criteria. SS 673 will help tracking systems meet these criteria more easily.

In addition, since SS 673 does not overlap or compete with Green-e™ certification, having a government-backed set of market guidelines will help raise awareness of renewable energy purchasing, build trust in the market as a whole and inspire customers of all types to seek out high quality renewable energy options like those certified by the Green-e™ program.

What Market Boundaries Are Allowed?

One goal of SS 673 is to support development and transactions of renewable electricity that is generated in Singapore, or that is contractually supplied into Singapore. The standard makes clear that generation from elsewhere in Southeast Asia is within the scope of the standard when tracked in a conforming tracking system. Chapter 8 of the standard elaborates, saying that “where sourcing from the same geographical or market boundary is not possible, the acceptable market boundaries in this SS refer to the UN Geoscheme for Southeast Asia,” which includes all ASEAN members and East Timor.

It is worth pointing out, for the sake of clarity, that SS 673 puts this language in Chapter 8 on claims, which contains recommendations for retail electricity sellers and buyers, but not rules for tracking systems. In addition, proving that it is not possible to procure from within the market boundary could be difficult.

For comparison, the Green-e™ Standard for Singapore requires that RECs come from within Singapore (and would consider electricity imports in a future version of the standard), and current CDP and RE100 rules also both require RECs from Singapore to be used for claims in Singapore.

Where Can I Find More Information?

Public announcements about SS 673 can be found at New Singapore Standard launch to support management and use of Renewable Energy Certificates.

The full text of SS 673 can be purchased from the Singapore Standards eShop.

CRS staff are also available by email to discuss the Singapore market.

To learn more about Green-e™ Energy certification in Singapore see www.green-e.org/singapore or contact CRS staff.