What is carbon-neutral electricity?

27 Apr, 2020 1:02:04 PM / by Quek Leng Chuang



The green movement has been creeping up slowly within Singapore, gaining more visibility and traction in recent years. This new wave of environmental consciousness brings about new technology, new ways of doing things, and new scientific jargon which the general public may balk at. 

So, just what exactly is carbon-neutral electricity? Let us start at the source of it. 


There is an environmental cost to generating electric power- 22 million tons of CO2 emissions per year to be exact, in Singapore’s context. Why the huge amount? It all boils down to the fact that every year, combustion of 3.5 million tons a year of natural gas is needed to generate 48,000 GWh of electricity. No doubt, this is a highly damaging and unsustainable way of production.

Engineers at the National Environment Agency (NEA) have worked out that 0.413 Metric Tons (MT) of CO2 are discharged into our atmosphere for every 1 Megawatt-hour (MWh) of power we consume. This ratio is termed the Grid Emission Factor. And by applying the Grid Emission Factor to any metered consumption of an electricity consumer, the carbon footprint from his/her consumption can easily be calculated.

For example, an electricity consumer using 10 MWh per month has a carbon footprint of 4.13 MT of CO2.

On the flip side, in order to “neutralize” the carbon footprint of 10 MWh per month electricity consumption, 4.13 MT of CO2 Carbon Credit Offsets can be purchased from the international carbon market.

What exactly are Carbon Credit Offsets?

Greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere are the main contributor to climate change contributing to global warming. CO2 makes up about 65% of all greenhouse gases, the rest being mainly methane, nitrous oxide and CFCs. Reducing one’s CO2 footprint is therefore a good indicator of effort toward fighting climate change.

By extension, CO2 reduction can be a measure of sustainability, which has since been gradually adopted as the standardized method since the 1990s. CO2 has now evolved into an industry in its own right, with international agreements, trading mechanisms, platforms, registry collectively called the international carbon market thus deemed the de facto global currency in sustainability.

The carbon market allows individuals, institutions, and corporations to measure their carbon footprint, and also measure their mitigation efforts in reducing environmental CO2. And these efforts can be monetized by trading these as Carbon Credit Offsets. A vibrant carbon credit market with free economic forces helps incentivize corporations and individuals to continuously reduce their carbon footprint.

What role does ES Power play in the carbon market?

By providing carbon-neutral electricity, a retailer commits to purchase the commensurate tonnage of CO2 to support the entire electricity consumption of all their customers. The continuous off-taking of Carbon Credit Offsets drives the carbon economy, and induces more emission-reduction programs around the world.

Your purchase of carbon-neutral electricity supports global emission-reduction programs; your purchase of carbon-neutral electricity fights climate change; your purchase of carbon-neutral electricity heals the earth. Take the step towards a carbon-neutral future here.


Topics: Carbon Neutrality, Environmental Offset

Quek Leng Chuang

Written by Quek Leng Chuang

LengChuang is a chemical engineer and an expert in carbonomics. He is the co-founder and owner of Environmental Solutions (Asia) Pte Ltd and ES Power.