Friday, November 28, 2008

Wildlife sighting on Ubin

There appears to be quite a fair bit of wildlife sightings on Pulau Ubin of late. It's always wonderful news to hear of possibly other mammals on the island other than wild boars and homosapiens! (Oh, and we have civet cats and otters too!)

On the other hand, Ubin has had its share of mega faunas such as the tapirs and a visiting elephant in the 90s.

Related Reads:
"It's a zoo out there", Pulau Ubin Stories, 03 June 2004
Animals of Ubin, Pulau Ubin Stories, 4 April 2005
Assorted Elephant Stories on Pulau Ubin Stories

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ubin Lodge is now open!

Welcome to Ubin Lodge

In February 08, I reported that the former Civil Service Club Chalets were renovated and ready to be open for corporate bookings according to the caretaker.

2 weeks ago, a lil bird told me that the former CSC Chalet is now known as Ubin Lodge is open for public bookings! Rates are relatively cheap, near the Ubin Jetty and perhaps this might be a good boost to the visitorship on the island. Perhaps finally there'll be an excuse to visit the island more often! More overnight stays too perhaps?

This place is definitely memorable as I will always remember the stories of how Ria Tan booked the old Civil Service Chalets for the volunteers helping out with Chek Jawa in 2001. This was when Chek Jawa was still about to be reclaimed, prior to deferment! Low tide was at unmentionable hours and volunteers need to be there whenever the tide calls so that they could survey the flora and fauna of CJ! I'm sure those volunteers would have many stories to tell about the civil service chalets!

Related Reads:
Ubin Lodge Official Website
Civil Service Chalets on Ubin, WildSingapore
Former Civil Service Chalet, Pulau Ubin Stories, 18 February 2008
Bed & Breakfast or resort likely on Pulau Ubin as first public tender called on island, Channel News Asia, 14 December 2006

Ubin, the clean-energy island

Island to become model 'green island' powered by clean and renewable energy
Tania Tan & Amresh Gunasingham, Straits Times 8 Nov 08;

ONE of Singapore's last rural enclaves could soon be transformed into a high-tech test site for renewable energies.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) yesterday announced plans to embark on a project to turn Pulau Ubin into a model 'green island' powered entirely by clean and renewable energy.

'We want to use technologies that will best integrate into the island's natural environment,' said Mr David Tan, deputy chief executive of EMA's energy policy and planning division.

Aside from solar panels and using waste as fuel for energy generation, electricity could also be produced from a hydrogen fuel cell plant, biofuels or turbines powered by wind or waves.

'The key is finding the right fit,' said Mr Tan.

A tender for a consultancy study has been called, and the project will be awarded later this month.

The six-month study, slated for completion in May, will look at how much energy is needed by residents on the 10 sq km island, and the most cost-effective combination of renewable energy technologies that can be used.

Apart from the fact that the project will be situated near the Ubin jetty, details are still sketchy, said Mr Tan.

Pulau Ubin, situated to the north-east of Singapore, does not draw electricity from the country's main power grid, because it has been too expensive to lay transmission cables for such low demand.

Instead, about 100 villagers use diesel generators, which are not environmentally friendly.

The Nature Society of Singapore welcomed the project on principle but said it had to be done right, from the start.

'Given the number of stakeholders involved, it would be wise to accommodate the concerns of the island's inhabitants as early as possible in the decision-making process, not so much to seek their permission, but to foster community involvement,' said Dr Shawn Lum, its president.

The non-profit organisation conducts regular visits to nature park Chek Jawa, located on the eastern coast of the island.

But islanders are open to the prospect of reliable, non-polluting power.

A shopkeeper in Ubin, who wanted to be known as Ms Tan, said that because the island was run on generators which were prone to breakdowns, any help to boost power supply would be welcome.

The Ubin project is the latest in a slew of programmes to transform Singapore into a global centre for clean R&D.

In September, the National Environment Agency announced plans to convert the Semakau landfill into a renewable energy test site cum eco-park.

The Government has also pumped some $170 million into boosting the clean technology sector, with plans to build a business park devoted to companies specialising in clean technologies and products. The first building on the 55ha site at Jalan Bahar is expected to be completed in 2010.

Pulau Ubin, the model ‘green’ island?

Today Online 8 Nov 08;

LONG known as a getaway for nature lovers, Pulau Ubin may soon acquire a new reputation — as a model “green” island.

The plan calls for the island to be powered entirely by clean and renewable energy. The island’s residents currently run their own diesel-powered generators.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) has called a tender for a study to develop and implement clean energy solutions for both residents and small businesses on Ubin.

“This project will create an oasis where clean and renewable energy technologies can be tested in an actual live environment,” said Mr Khoo Chin Hean, the EMA’s chief executive. It will also benefit Ubin’s residents by providing them with “alternative sources of energy that are not only cleaner but are also cost competitive to diesel generators”.

The technologies to be considered in the study include those using solar, wind, marine and biomass sources. The study will also take into account the economic, environmental and social cost and benefits. The tender will be awarded this month and the study is expected to be completed by next May.

Pulau Ubin could be model "green" island powered by clean energy

Cheryl Lim, Channel NewsAsia 8 Nov 08;

SINGAPORE : Pulau Ubin could become a model island powered entirely by clean and renewable energy.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) has called a tender for a consultancy study to develop and implement clean and renewable energy solutions for homes and businesses on the island.

It said this could lead to the development of small-scale power supply networks running on solar, wind or biomass sources to supply electricity.

Pulau Ubin currently does not receive electricity from the main power grid as it is not economical to lay transmission cables to meet the island's small power demands.

Residents depend on diesel generators for power.

EMA hopes the project will enable it to test clean and renewable energy technologies in an actual environment.

It plans to award the consultancy tender this month and expects the study to be completed by May 2009. - CNA /ls

Ubin to host testing site for 'green' energy

Alternative sources that will be test-bedded include solar, wind and biodiesel
Ronnie Lim, Business Times 8 Nov 08;

PULAU Ubin, a well-known adventure getaway for nature lovers, is going to be used as a test-bed for clean and renewable energy, including alternatives like solar, wind or biomass, to produce electricity for a cluster of homes and businesses there.

To kick off the project, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) has just called a tender for a consultancy study on this.

And depending on the study's outcome, it could be followed by development of actual infrastructure to create a micro-grid system - or small scale power supply network - on the island.

EMA's chief executive Khoo Chin Hean said: 'This project will create an oasis where clean and renewable energy technologies can be tested in an actual live environment.'

'At the same time, it can benefit the consumers in Pulau Ubin who currently rely on diesel generators by providing alternative sources of energy that are not only cleaner but are also cost competitive to diesel generators.'

EMA sees the project to transform part of Pulau Ubin into a model 'green' island as boosting Singapore's ambition to be a global test-bedding site for new energy technologies.

Currently, Ubin - off the north-east coast of Singapore - does not draw electricity supply from the main power grid, as it is not economical to lay power transmission cables from mainland Singapore due to Ubin's modest energy demand. There is also no centralised electricity supply system on the island.

All the 100 inhabitants on the 110 sq km island, including small businesses, run their own diesel- powered generators to generate electricity.

Giving more details about the study, EMA said that it will look into 'both the technical and commercial viability of the options proposed, while giving due consideration to economic, environmental and social costs and benefits'.

It listed a long list of potential technologies to be test-bedded, including solar, wind, marine, biomass (such as solid waste and algae), biodiesel and bioethanol, hydrogen and fuel cells, microturbine, the energy management system for the micro-grid, and substations.

EMA expects to award the tender for the consultancy this month, with the study to be completed by May next year.

The EMA tender comes as Singapore Energy Week drew to a close, with Deputy Prime Minister S Jayakumar earlier promoting the idea of how cities like Singapore can serve as clean technology and R&D hubs, by leveraging on their concentrations of technological and scientific talent as well as access to capital markets and funding.

The Republic has already attracted mega investors in solar cell manufacturing, new generation biodiesel production and also R&D in wind power.

Safe Cycling on Pulau Ubin

Safe Cycling on Pulau Ubin
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: cycling safety)

Otterman did a simple and straightforward presentation on safe cycling on Pulau Ubin and highlighted some of the "danger spots" on Ubin. A helpful reference for those of us new to Ubin, cycle often or looking to bring friends and family to Ubin for a cycling trip.