Monday, March 07, 2016
Singapore -- All talk when it comes to Green
Singapore seems very advanced and "future ready" on the surface, but in terms of sustainability, I don't really feel that Singapore is all that Green.
Firstly, Garden city is an apt description because the amount of "forest" in Singapore is less than 4%. The use of plastic is very high. In many sustainable events, they still give out bottled water, even though Singapore pride itself on having very drinkable Newater tap water.
In terms of transportation, Singapore has very high taxes for Hybrid and electric cars. Then the LTA decides to tax hybrid vehicles based on their power output, instead of the engine capacity as for their petrol counterparts. So ...
Let’s take a look at an example, say the luxurious and (relatively) fuel-efficient Lexus RX400h. Engine capacity: 3311cc.
6-month road tax for petrol car of equivalent engine capacity: $1,836
Power rating: 268bhp (200kW).
6-month road tax for hybrid RX400h: $2,975
That’s a staggering $2,278 more per year you have to pay for the privilege of driving an eco-friendly, fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle in Singapore.
With the Haze in mind, Shouldn't Singapore be all over emission free vehicles? Any amount of carbon removed, either from electric buses, taxis and all other vehicles will reduce air pollution, but they decided to put on a $15,000 tax on a Tesla (Electric Vehicle) for excessive "Emission" Because the government determined that the car is not “fuel-efficient”.
Next, on the issue of Solar energy use. It is very hard to sell back to the grid. Land Scarcity is used as an excuse for not using solar energy. Another excuse if Grid stability, something which many third world country including Nepal seems to be able to handle it well.
It is very hard to sell energy back to the grid, and there is no subsidies when going solar, unlike many other developed countries.
One reason I could think of why sustainability takes a back seat is because Temasek Holdings have a stake in SP services, and Singapore gets a lot of tax revenues on fuel.
When you use solar panels, hybrid vehicles and electric cars, it affects profits and tax.