Solar power map to help S'poreans see the light

Solar power map to help S'poreans see the light

SINGAPORE - A sky-high government-funded project is under way to map and analyse each and every one of the thousands of rooftops here.

The aim? To figure out on average how much each is exposed to the sun.

This information will be shared with Singaporeans in the hope that more will warm towards installing solar panels, as the nation ramps up its use of the sun's energy.

This work by the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (Seris) is part of an ambitious, wider effort by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) to photograph and map, in 3D, the entire country's landscape.

Since April 10, light planes have been criss-crossing the island at an altitude of up to 1,200m, taking aerial shots and doing laser scans. The effort will take about 40 days.

The project is expected to be completed by 2016.

An SLA spokesman said that the mapping would "improve decision- making" as users such as government agencies can then visualise, analyse and understand the landscape better.

For example, national water agency PUB will be using the map to better manage storm water.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore will harness it to design more efficient flight paths.

The first of the project's two phases will cost about $3.3 million.

When complete, the 3D map will be adapted for public use.

As for Seris, which is funded by the National Research Foundation, the Economic Development Board and the National University of Singapore, it aims to make its version of the map publicly available online within a year.

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