Energy Market Authority of Singapore grants $27m to promote energy innovation

The Energy Market Authority of Singapore (EMA) has awarded $27m in research grants to 13 industry-partnered projects in the areas of Gas Technology and Smart Grids.

These projects were selected from over 50 submissions and are aimed at enhancing the reliability and resilience of Singapore’s power infrastructure.

Gas Technology Grants

2. Of these 13 projects, eight are on Gas Technology with a focus in areas such as:

-Harvesting cold energy from the conversion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to natural gas;

-Monitoring gas pipelines in real-time for damage; and

-Increasing the energy efficiency of the LNG Terminal on Jurong Island.

In one project on monitoring gas pipelines for damage, the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R) from A*STAR will convert current bulky scanners as large as a writing desk, into portable handhelds. This will make it convenient for maintenance personnel to carry the scanners around to detect – in real time – cracks or damages in gas pipelines or other gas infrastructure. The handheld scanners will also be able to penetrate through pipe insulation, saving time and effort in not having to remove the insulation layer for scanning. These improvements will contribute towards early detection of possible gas supply disruptions, and enhance our gas and electricity reliability.

Smart Grids Grants

3. The remaining five Smart Grids projects will focus on:

-Enhancing the security of our electricity grid against cyber-attacks;
-Managing the impact of intermittent solar energy generation on the stability of the power grid; and
-Developing smarter and more efficient energy systems.

One of the grant recipients, the Singapore University of Technology and Design, hopes to develop cost-effective cyber-attack detection capabilities for Singapore’s power system. For instance, data diodes, which are network devices that allow data to transfer in only one direction to protect against inadvertent intrusions, can cost as high as $500,000. The team is looking to bring down the cost of this by as much as 90 percent.

4. On the importance of these projects, Mr Ng Wai Choong, Chief Executive of EMA, said: “EMA works closely with the industry and research community to catalyse innovations in the energy sector. The 13 project have the potential to make a real difference in enhancing the efficiency and reliability of our electricity and gas systems.”

5. As a partner in four of the 13 projects, Singapore Power Group CEO Wong Kim Yin said: “Singapore Power is committed to upholding the reliability and efficiency of Singapore’s power network. We look forward to partnering leading researchers in developing innovative solutions in Smart Grids and Gas Technology to meet the future needs of consumers.”

6. The Singapore LNG Corporation, which operates the LNG Terminal, is also among the Gas Technology collaborators. Chief Executive Officer John Ng said: “R&D is an important enabler to catalyse new industry capabilities. We are happy to be able to play a part in such efforts, and we hope that these will lead to practical and implementable applications.”