Millions of dollars in initiatives announced for energy sector during Singapore International Energy Week

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing at the opening of the Singapore International Energy Week at Marina Bay Sands, on Oct 30, 2018. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Millions of dollars are being pumped into making the energy sector more efficient, easier to manage when split into multiple grids, and more secure.

These were among a slew of announcements made by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing at the opening of the Singapore International Energy Week on Tuesday (Oct 30) at Marina Bay Sands.

One of the initiatives is a research programme by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) that will prepare the country for a future with more than a single power grid.

The $20-million Exploiting Distributed Generation (EDGE) scheme will give companies or researchers from institutes of higher learning the chance to take part in grant calls and develop technology in the areas of micro-grid design, distributed energy optimisation and management, and differentiated power-quality systems.

The grants will be used to implement projects at both the Pulau Ubin micro-grid and at the future SIT campus when it is completed in 2023.

SIT president Tan Thiam Soon said: "Through EDGE, we aim to strengthen SIT's micro-grid capabilities and create an effective nationwide 'living lab'."

Approaching grid research from another direction is the Smart Grid and Power Electronics Consortium Singapore, one of two consortia set up under another initiative announced on Tuesday.

The initiative involves up to $9 million over three years from EMA and the National Research Foundation to support the Energy Grid 2.0 Programme.

The first consortium will focus on areas such as cyber security for the power grid as well as advanced power electronics.

The second is the Cooling Energy Science and Technology Singapore Consortium, which will tackle the challenge of cooling people in the country's tropical climate while minimising the carbon emissions given off in the process.

A further $10 million has also been earmarked for manpower development, and research and development (R&D) through a partnership between EMA and Sembcorp Industries.

Under the agreement between the two, researchers and companies can develop technologies of strategic interest to the country.

An example is a project that aims to use the large amounts of heat wasted through many industrial processes to produce electricity and chilled water.

EMA chief executive Ngiam Shih Chun said its partnership with Sembcorp will help to catalyse R&D innovations to enhance the resilience of Singapore's energy sector.

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