Left: Carlo Pisigan is an EMA Undergraduate Overseas Scholar with a Master of Engineering (Electrical & Electronic Engineering) from Imperial College London, UK. He is currently an engineer in the Electricity System Department under the Industry Regulation Division, planning infrastructure upgrades to support electric vehicle charging and developing a digital network twin for Singapore's electricity distribution network.
Right: EMA Undergraduate Overseas Scholar Michelle Fung is a Senior Analyst in the Industry Development Department under the Energy Planning and Development Division. She has a Bachelor of Science (Economics) from the London School of Economics, UK and a Master of Science (Management Science and Engineering) from Columbia University, USA.
Singapore's story as a nation has always been one of triumph over overwhelming odds, embracing new possibilities and building a sustainable future for everyone who calls it home.
The Singapore Energy Story is no different. Here, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) is the driving force to ensure a secure, reliable and sustainable supply of energy to power the country's progress. With the urgent need to tackle climate change, EMA is doing its part to decarbonise the power sector through what is known as the Four Switches. Natural gas as the first Switch, will ensure the security and reliability of the power system while efforts are made to scale up the other three Switches for cleaner sources of energy – solar, regional power grids and low carbon alternatives.
Proud to be part of these changes are EMA Overseas Undergraduate Scholars Carlo Pisigan and Michelle Fung.
Carlo, aged 27, is an engineer in the Electricity System Department. He works on planning infrastructure upgrades to support electric vehicle (EV) charging and developing a digital network twin for Singapore's electricity distribution network.
Michelle focuses on another aspect of our energy future, namely, the people who will shape it. As part of the Human Capital and Industry Promotion Branch in the Industry Development Department, the 28-year-old's role comprises formulating manpower planning strategies and developing outreach initiatives to attract youths to join the energy sector.
Their work contributes to EMA's efforts to manage what is known as the energy trilemma - the need to balance energy security with affordability and sustainability.
Both Carlo and Michelle started out with the desire to make the world a greener place.
"The energy landscape is continuously evolving as we strive to achieve a greener and more resilient energy future," said Michelle.
It was EMA that gave her the direction she was looking for, as her aspirations aligned perfectly with EMA's mission to forge a progressive energy landscape for sustained growth.
"I chose the EMA scholarship as I wanted to pursue a meaningful career in a dynamic sector."
Carlo found out how the EMA scholarship matched his personal and career interests when his polytechnic lecturer recommended that he apply for it.
"I've always yearned to see how Singapore would be like once electric cars and clean energy start to proliferate. The work that EMA does was aligned to what I wanted to do and what I hoped to see in the future."
Soon enough, both Carlo and Michelle found themselves in London studying for their degrees after receiving their scholarships.
A Smooth Flow of Energy
Overseas study posed different opportunities for the two scholars. Michelle explored friendships with those from other cultures, while Carlo immersed himself in modules outside his comfort zone such as machine learning and scripting languages.
With the practical support from EMA, both Michelle and Carlo enjoyed a fuss-free transition from study to work.
"EMA was able to ease the transition from theory to practical application through on the job training and site visits," Carlo recalled.
Michelle concurred, outlining how EMA sponsored her degree in Economics with the London School of Economics and a further Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering with Columbia University.
With the knowledge gained, she could understand how the electricity market works and from there, how best to engage stakeholders with an interest in sustainable energy.
"In my daily work, I interact with various stakeholders from Institutes of Higher Learning to industry partners to explain the latest developments in the energy sector," she explained.
Michelle recalled with pride how she worked on a collaboration with Science Centre Singapore and SP Group to conceptualise and develop Singapore's first-ever dedicated energy exhibition. "Seeing our ideas come to life in the form of interactive exhibits and the smiles on visitors' faces made our efforts worthwhile!"
With opportunities for job rotation, Michelle previously worked in the Policy and Planning department of EMA, where she worked on streamlining solar regulations to facilitate solar deployment in Singapore. Achievements abounded there as well, as EMA achieved its initial solar target of 350MWp in 2020 and is now aiming to achieve the 2GWp target by 2030.
An Electric Future
Carlo's role is relatively more technical. As an engineer in the Electricity System Department under the Industry Regulation Division, he has been busy working on the development of a digital network twin for Singapore's electricity distribution network.
The digital network twin is a computer simulation model of Singapore's electricity distribution network that would make the national power grid more resilient and flexible to meet evolving needs. For a complex project of this nature, Carlo has to collaborate with multiple agencies such as SP Group and the Institute of High-Performance Computing.
But it was all worth it to see his work showcased during Singapore International Energy Week 2021, as a tangible manifestation of the greener future ahead.
"My work in EMA helps in ensuring the distribution network's resiliency, as well as supporting whole-of-government initiatives such as the Singapore Green Plan," said a beaming Carlo.
The Next Charge
To build a more sustainable energy future, EMA will continue to require passionate, dedicated individuals like Carlo and Michelle to join its ranks.
With that, EMA is open to welcoming new "sparks" – but they must possess the drive and interest to see it through, according to Michelle and Carlo.
Carlo emphasised: "Follow and develop your passion and interests and use them as your unique tools in the application process."
"Consider what you are truly passionate about and join an organisation that values its people. Read up about the latest energy developments in Singapore and visit EMA's website to discover your interest in the energy sector," concluded Michelle.