Energy technologies a priority research area in Singapore


Professor Chong
Tow Chong,
Executive Director
of SERC 
Singapore — (METERING.COM) — April 3, 2007 – A two-day Smart Energy Distribution Systems workshop being held in Singapore is examining topical issues such as energy efficiency, smart grids and self-healing delivery systems that eliminate power loss. Organized by the Science and Engineering Council (SERC) of A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), the workshop has attracted distinguished global experts to Singapore. Apart from speaking on their specialized areas of expertise on energy R&D and management, the six experts will engage with the SERC to evaluate existing capabilities and opportunities for Singapore in this sector. They will be hearing from 18 proposals submitted from public sector R&D efforts to assess funding feasibility and provide their comments.  
Energy technologies were identified as one of the priority research areas for A*STAR in 2005. Among the key thrusts for R&D activities on energy were the exploitation of advanced IT in energy supply and management as well as the conversion, storage and delivery of electricity from renewable and environmentally sustainable sources. To position Singapore as a vibrant centre for energy research and to integrate capabilities within its Research Institutes, A*STAR is setting up an Energy Technology R&D Program to boost R&D and growth of the energy sector.   

Singapore began moving towards a deregulated energy sector in 2001, and the process is likely to be complete by 2010, when all consumers will be able to choose their energy supplier. Utility SP Services, part of the Singapore Power Group, is planning to trial a prepaid electronic system linked to smart meters. Consumers will be able to buy power from any retailer using mobile (cell) phones, the Internet, automatic teller machines and local convenience stores. The vending system was presented at this week’s workshop by Mr Soh Siew Cheong, senior adviser to the Energy Market Authority (EMA).
The EMA, which is developing a prototype of the vending system, plans to conduct a trial for some 1,000 households in 2009.