Presenting Winners of the Singapore Energy Grand Challenge

23 Jul 2021

      With the growing urgency to tackle climate change, there is a need for greater sustainability as outlined in the Singapore Green Plan 2030. This will include the need to change the way we produce and consume energy. The Energy Market Authority (EMA) is leading efforts to engage stakeholders, including the industry, research community and the youth to co-create solutions for Singapore’s Energy Story and build a more sustainable future. Details of the Singapore’s Energy Story can be found in Annex A.

2      At EMA’s Energy Innovation 2021, Ms Low Yen Ling, Minister of State for the Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, today announced the winners of the Singapore Energy Grand Challenge (SEGC) for two categories – (i) Industry and Research Community and (ii) Youth.The industry and research community were invited to co-create energy efficient solutions to benefit Singapore businesses, whereas the youth were invited to share their ideas on how their carbon-free neighbourhood or schools could be like.

a.   SEGC (Industry and Research Community): The winners are Research & Development projects from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) for their ideas to improve energy efficiency in waste-to-energy plants and commercial buildings respectively.

b.   SEGC (Youth): Winners of the Junior Category comprising lower secondary students:
      • Champion: 3R Girls Team from Raffles Girls’ School
      • 1st runner-up: Team Mighty Chondria from Nanyang Girls’ High School
      • 2nd runner-up: Team Proficient from Bedok Green Secondary School

Winners of the Senior Category comprising upper secondary and junior college students:
      • Champion: Team Electrae from Dunman High School
      • 1st runner-up: Team Energae from Dunman High School
      • 2nd runner-up: Team Goaty from Anderson Serangoon Junior College

3.       EMA’s Chief Executive, Mr Ngiam Shih Chun, said: “Everyone has a part to play in helping Singapore move towards a more sustainable energy future. The SEGC is one way of co-creating solutions with our communities, from youths to industry players and researchers. My heartiest congratulations to the winners of the SEGC for their innovative solutions. I look forward to our collective action to decarbonise our energy sector and make Singapore a model of sustainability to the world.”

SEGC (Industry and Research Community)

4.      SEGC (Industry and Research Community) was launched in September 2020 to encourage the industry and research community to work together and co-create innovative energy efficiency solutions to lower Singapore’s energy demand, and enhance the competitiveness of businesses in Singapore. This saw 31 proposals received from various teams.

5.      NTU will develop a solution that uses sound waves to pre-condition and accumulate pollutants in the waste exhaust from industrial plants. This improves the efficiency of removing pollutants in the filtering process and can achieve at least 10-15% in energy savings from fan power and accompanying separation systems. With the SEGC grant awarded by EMA, this solution will move beyond its current proof-of-concept into real-world testing at the Waste-To-Energy Research Facility (WTERF) in partnership with JFE Engineering Corporation.

6.      To reduce our electricity demand from air-conditioning and build a more sustainable Singapore, NUS will develop a novel material to more effectively absorb moisture in the air and cool the air efficiently. Waste heat from air-conditioning will also be tapped on to release the moisture absorbed and restore the moisture absorbing material for continuous use. The project will be piloted in commercial air-conditioning systems in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric. If successful, the solution could improve the overall energy efficiency of air-conditioning systems by 30% or more. More details of both projects can be found in Annex B.

SEGC (Youth)

7.      The second edition of SEGC (Youth) was launched in March 2021 to engage youth on sustainability issues and garner innovative ideas based on the theme “How would your carbon-free school or neighbourhood in Singapore look like in 2050?”. A total of 87 teams across 29 secondary schools and junior colleges took part in the challenge. Participants had to use Microsoft’s Minecraft: Education Edition to create their ideal carbon-free world and showcase their aspirations for Singapore.

8.      A team from Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) clinched the championship for the Junior Category with their holistic presentation of innovative low-carbon ideas for Singapore in the year 2050. Their ideas included the use of hydrogen-powered vehicles and Maglev trains to reduce overall carbon emissions as well as intelligent solar-powered street lighting equipped with motion sensors. For the Senior category, a team from Dunman High School was crowned the champion for their innovative ideas such as the use of bioluminescent algae for lighting and artificial intelligence to optimise overall energy usage. The team also received the highest number of votes from members of the public. More details on the winning teams can be found in Annex C.

9.      The judging panel for the SEGC comprised representatives from EMA, Infocomm Media Development Authority, Microsoft Singapore, Durapower Holdings and Maxeon Solar.

10.      Mr Kevin Wo, Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore said, “As we address climate change through the Singapore Green Plan, it’s great to see that our youths can bring their carbon-free aspirations to life through immersive learning environments from Microsoft like Minecraft: Education Edition. Through the eyes of our youths, we too can draw inspiration from their ideas and take collective action to build a sustainable future for our nation.”

11.      The winning teams for both categories each received a $5,000 cash prize and a Challenge Trophy for their schools, while the 1st runner-up and 2nd runner-up teams received $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. More information on the next edition of the SEGC (Youth) will be shared in the first half of 2022.

Annex A: Factsheet for Singapore’s Vision to be a Bright Green Spark
Annex B: Details of Awarded Projects Under the Inaugural SEGC (Industry and Research Community)
Annex C: Information on Minecraft: Education Edition and the Winning Teams of SEGC (Youth) 2021


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