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David Fickling

Singapore’s Power Spikes Are the Cost of Clinging to the Past

A shift to renewables should alleviate volatile fuel prices, but that’ll be a difficult transition given the city-state’s unique geographic and political situation.

A familiar skyline.

A familiar skyline.

Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg

Think the cost of electricity in Europe — where fuel shortages and the approach of winter recently drove prices over $200 per megawatt-hour  — is crazy? You should check out Singapore.

The city-state has seen wholesale prices rising as high as S$2,947 ($2,184)/MWh in October and $1,121/MWh last month. Those levels aren’t even particularly unusual in Singapore’s highly liberalized power market, where costs spike whenever supply and demand fall out of alignment: