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Singapore to Utilise Digital Technologies for Energy-Efficient Buildings

Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) together with the International Energy Agency (IEA) have introduced innovative solutions and applications for efficient smart grid-interactive buildings and energy systems during the recently held “Regional Training Programme on Efficient Grid-Interactive Buildings.”

“We are delighted to continue our partnership with the IEA on training programmes for policymakers and industry professionals to support the region’s clean energy transitions. This year, we have brought together many experts and professionals to share their knowledge on smart digital technologies for energy-efficient buildings which would help reduce energy consumption in the region,” says Jonathan Goh, Director, External Relations Department, EMA.

The built environment provides 25 per cent of ASEAN’s overall energy consumption, according to the IEA. Most of this consumption—more than 40 per cent—is satisfied by electricity produced from fossil fuels. The built environment, which includes buildings as well as the utility and transportation networks that connect them, has a huge potential to reduce energy usage by utilising digital technology to become smarter and more interactive.

Energy systems can automatically reduce and reroute peak electricity demand thanks to devices like smart metres, sensors, and artificial intelligence. This improves the grid’s capacity to adapt quickly to variations in supply and demand.

Along with saving energy and cutting CO2 emissions, energy efficiency also improves people’s lives, health, productivity, and well-being. It also creates jobs, boosts energy security, and raises discretionary incomes, to name a few.

The training programme, on the other hand, included more than 40 experts from organisations around the world who supported the programme through presentations, breakout sessions, virtual networking, and discussions. These experts included ASEAN-based organisations like the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore.

The recent Singapore International Energy Agency Regional Training Programme on Efficient Grid-Interactive Buildings drew more than 180 participants from 33 nations.

Policymakers, business experts, and representatives from academia, non-governmental organisations, and civil society gathered to discuss how smart digital technology may be used to make buildings more energy-efficient. Through interaction with the power grid, energy-intensive buildings might become low-carbon prosumers capable of producing, consuming, storing, selling, and buying energy.

Furthermore, the Singapore-IEA Regional Training Hub initiative’s sixth activity is the Efficient Grid-Interactive Buildings programme. When Singapore joined the IEA as an Association Country in 2016, the Singapore-IEA Regional Training Hub was established. More than a thousand individuals from more than 30 countries have received training at the Singapore-IEA Training Hub since 2017.

The initiative marks an important turning point in the development of a network of urban practitioners, researchers, and energy experts to support knowledge sharing and operational capacities in clean energy transitions.

To discuss the connections between energy security and energy transitions, Singapore and the IEA will co-host the Singapore-IEA Ministerial Roundtable on Energy Security in a Low-Carbon World in October of this year. The 15th Singapore International Energy Week will include this event.

Meanwhile, EMA implemented several measures to improve Singapore’s energy security and resilience. As a result, Singapore’s overall gas supplies have been kept adequate throughout the current global energy crisis. These actions consist of:

  • Creating a Standby LNG Facility (SLF) that gencos can use to generate energy if natural gas supplies are stopped;
  • Advise gencos to maintain enough fuel supplies based on generation capacity. In addition to the present requirement that gencos maintain fuel reserves; and
  • To maintain the security and reliability of the power system, market regulations should be amended to allow EMA to force gencos to generate electricity using SLF gas before any expected Singapore Wholesale Electricity Market (SWEM) energy supply shortfalls.
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