The Singaporean government announced that it has invested S$100 million (US$80 million) in green data services and green buildings (structures that use less energy than usual) in the country.

During the Energy TechRoadMap Symposium held on July 30, the government’s Energy Research Development and Demonstration Executive Committee said that the investment will be put into researching and developing better green data services, and improving energy efficiency of the buildings using its power.

The committee also revealed five energy technological roadmaps. Apart from the green data service and energy efficiency plans above, it outlined ideas for solar panel research, carbon capture utilisation, and industry energy efficiency.

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So why is Singapore taking the green plan initiative? According to Schneider Electric’s Business Vice President of the EcoBusiness Division Benedict Soh, it’s for ensuring a sustainable future for Singapore and cut down on its high energy maintenance ways. He said that the country’s buildings account for half of its electricity usage. With the population growing to 6.9 million by the year 2030, there will be an increased demand for energy consumption.

Soh said that solutions to creating energy efficient complexes and offices have already existed to help change how buildings are powered up and operated. These include building management systems and home control systems. “This [optimisation] will lead to buildings generating less emissions and becoming more environmentally-friendly.”

He suggested ideas for the government to improve energy efficiency. These include using open protocols and a Building Management System (BMS) to control energy management from a central source, and scaling that technology so that building owners can regularly update it without worrying about astronomical costs.

Of course, Soh added that it will be a challenge to quickly renovate a building to become eco-friendly. But in a world where technology moves faster than usual, it’s better to take time on these long-term plans so that a country like Singapore can remain a data centre hub for Southeast Asia, while still using less energy doing so. After all, it hosted 58 per cent of the region’s data centre capacity in 2012.