The Fort Siloso Skywalk will be the site of Singapore’s first “solar pavements” in early 2024. This initiative is part of the country’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality and exploring innovative ways to harness solar power.

Solar pavements are essentially solar panels placed on walkable pathways. The solar pavements will be located on the island of Sentosa as part of a pilot project.

The Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) has been actively promoting the use of solar panels. With an installed solar capacity of over 5.2 megawatt-peak, Sentosa’s annual clean energy production can reach approximately 6.6 gigawatt hours (Gwh). This reduces over 2,600 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

The placement of solar panels on Fort Siloso Skywalk will assist the SDC in evaluating the practicality of leveraging sidewalks for solar energy production. Lee Cheh Hsien, the SDC’s planning manager, told The Straits Times that the trial would consider public reactions and solar panel upkeep.

Solar pavements in other nations have suffered from dirt buildup diminishing the panels’ overall effectiveness. The Singapore pilot project is hoping to overcome this issue.

The selection of Fort Siloso Skywalk was due to its popularity among visitors. If the Skywalk can generate significant amounts of solar energy, even with heavy pedestrian traffic, less busy walkways should be able to do the same.

The solar panels were developed by local green energy supplier Raitan, a winner in the 2022 Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge organized by Enterprise Singapore.

Urban areas possess far greater clean energy potential than many imagine. A mere 20 square meters (215 square feet) of solar pavement can generate a year’s worth of power for an average household.

And solar pavements are not the only way to produce clean energy in densely populated cities. French company New World Wind has created “wind trees.” The metal structures, which resemble trees, are equipped with branches that feature small wind turbines.

In addition to being small, the wind trees are noiseless.

Image Source: CNA