Here at Stuff, we are big on the environment. So news of how the Singapore Sports Hub is slapping giant solar panels all over its roof have cheered us up to end, despite the Monday blues.
In a bid to become a responsible and sustainable venue, a total of 2,721 massive sunshine-sucking panels will be installed across 7,000 square metres of the Sports Hub. It generates enough electricity to power 146 HDB four-roomers for a year - think about the load of electricity bills we could potentially save on.
The Sports Hub is not the only Singapore location that’s taking the lights to the sun; Supermarket chain Sheng Siong, Gardens by the Bay and the Ulu Pandan Newater plant are also embarking on this energy conservation path, while HDB is working on bringing solar energy into the heartlands.
Let’s face it, with the amount of sun we get all year round in Singapore, we might as well make the best of it. So here are a few other places that could use a solar panel makeover.
Image: Phoenix Solar
No one properly transits into young adulthood here in Singapore without being baptised in the granddaddy of local clubs. It may not be the brightest and biggest of locations in Singapore, but those dancing spotlights and booming sound equipment sure do guzzle up quite a bit of juice.
Considering the lack of daytime activities, which is the perfect opportunity to charge up those generators, and the decent amount of roof estate for those panels, we don’t see why the club can’t implement some healthy solar power practices.
And if Zouk ever finds a way to harness all that energy from a night of drunken revelry, we’re pretty sure that it’ll be more than enough to power all their electrical thingamajigs.
2. SMRT stations and trains
There are a total of 89 MRT stations in Singapore, and a load more MRT trains. Now, imagine all those stations and trains equipped with solar panels. That’s quite a bit of solar energy that will get generated, even with a portion of them underground.
The resulting supply may not be enough to power the entire rail network, but it’ll definitely be adequate to fuel lights, fans and escalators within the stations themselves. Maybe then will Singaporeans be a little more forgiving when a train doesn't arrive on schedule. It is, afterall, making a viable contribution to society while trundling its way to you...very...slowly.
More after the break...
3. Marina Bay Sands
All that surface area (3 55-storey towers and not to mention that enormous vessel on top) without any real purpose to it just seems like such a waste of space. Wouldn’t it look good with a line of solar cells running down its entire structure? With its hulking presence, there’s no way it’s going to be overshadowed by surrounding buildings.
The hotel has already been awarded the Green Mark Gold Award for its green practices, so why not add a couple more solar panels to make it the destination of choice for posh tree-huggers?
4. Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
While we appreciate the artistic contributions that take place in our beloved durian-like structure, they'd be even more significant if it could get its act together and power its own shows.
Remember how its design was the talking point of this town? How about putting those “points” to good use and convert them into solar panels? At least they’ll serve a higher purpose than being just another pretty facade on the waterfront. And in that unobstructed spot along the river, it has the perfect position to bake all that sunlight into electricity.
5. The Merlion
It’s about time the Merlion received a fashionable and futuristic makeover. Given Singapore’s reputation as a green city, how about we step things up with a solar-panel clad Merlion as our mascot? At best, those panels would easily power the mechanism that powers its waterspout. Besides, a creature with a fish body should be glinting in the sun instead of being all pasty-white.
And we haven't forgotten about that other giant fish-beast in Sentosa. It could also use a sleek solar-scale update.
Image: The Real Singapore