Energy Market Authority
Feature | EMA

Keeping the Future for Singapore’s Energy Shining Bright

As part of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Energy Market Authority (EMA) serves to ensure a reliable and secure energy supply, promote effective competition in the energy market and develop a dynamic energy sector in Singapore. In order to forge a progressive energy landscape for sustained growth, it relies on talented engineers like Amelia Tan and Nicholas Lim.
Energy Market Authority

Left: Amelia Tan works as a Senior Engineer in the EMA's System Stability and Planning Department, overseeing the review, planning and implementation of energy-related infrastructure in Singapore. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering) from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Right: Nicholas Lim possesses a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Engineering) from the National University of Singapore and works as a Senior Engineer in the EMA's Electricity System Department. His role includes facilitating cost-effective development of the electricity system as well as counteracting licensees who breach regulatory requirements.

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) plays a crucial role in regulating Singapore’s energy sector and ensuring energy sufficiency. It does so by operating critical delivery infrastructure, developing the industry and promoting market competition. Due to the sheer scale and scope of its responsibilities, skilled engineers are a necessity. EMA Scholars Amelia Tan and Nicholas Lim have both built their EMA careers as Senior Engineers. Amelia currently works in the System Stability and Planning Department while Nicholas is in the Electricity System Department. They take pride in their pivotal work to advance Singapore’s energy capabilities and make a positive impact on Singaporeans’ lives.

Read on to learn what they do and why they are passionate about it.

Amelia Tan

Amelia Tan

What drew you to this field and inspired you on this career path?

Amelia Tan: I’ve always believed that everything can be explained by the laws of physics. It’s fascinating to understand how and why things work, and I think this naturally led me into engineering. I was drawn to the energy sector because it incorporates many aspects of engineering. For example, the power system is a unique testament to the convergence and balance of different technical concepts.

Nicholas Lim: When I graduated from secondary school and was deciding on my next course of study, clean energy sources were hot topics in the news. When I completed my ‘O’ levels in 2008, it was also the first year that the Singapore International Energy Week was held and the clean energy sector seemed like a budding industry with massive growth potential. Hence, I enrolled for a Diploma in Clean Energy with Temasek Polytechnic.

“I enjoy how things are dynamic and never stagnant, which makes for an electrifying career so far!” Amelia Tan

What made you choose to join EMA and undertake its Scholarship?

Amelia Tan: I first came across the EMA scholarship in a magazine during my junior college days, which was also my introduction to the organisation.

EMA stood out to me as it checked all the right boxes in terms of career opportunities. It offered me the chance (and challenge) to apply technical and engineering solutions to forge a sustainable energy landscape for future generations. Being a self-professed nerd curious about the engineering aspects of energy, this drew me in.

Nicholas Lim: Having graduated with a Diploma in Clean Energy, I was researching the energy sector and came across the Handbook for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems produced by EMA. That was when I first learnt about their role in Singapore’s energy sector and became interested in their work.

At the time, the EMA scholarship was one option available to Temasek Polytechnic graduates pursuing further studies. I took up the scholarship and began my career with the EMA as its organisational goals were directly related to my course of studies. It would also provide opportunities to work and interact with a wide segment of Singapore’s energy sector.

How has EMA supported you in your studies?

Amelia Tan: EMA was very supportive of my education. For example, they supported my participation in an exchange programme in France as well as my interests in studying nuclear energy as part of my Mechanical Engineering degree. Although I was literally half a world away, I felt that EMA was always there for me.

Nicholas Lim: I had my internship at EMA’s Power System Control Centre, which allowed me to learn how they monitor and control the power generation, transmission and dispatch systems to maintain power system security.

Nicholas Lim

Nicholas Lim

Could you share your academic experiences and how it has helped your career?

Amelia Tan: My experience studying abroad in the United States has taught me to take things as they come and not be afraid of uncertainty. I found that you can only seize the day fully by being open to new challenges as they present themselves and be willing to leave your comfort zone, which is also true in the professional world! When something as important as Singapore’s power system is at stake, there is no place for fear of the unknown. Thus, I am still able to apply the same can-do attitude that helped carry me through my university days.

Nicholas Lim: My biggest takeaway from my education was “listen to understand, not to reply”.

I work in EMA’s Electricity System Department, which closely collaborates with various electricity licensees and other departments. At times, a lot of coordination is required and there are differing views on the best path forward. Thus, it is important to be able to receive constructive feedback and adapt accordingly to achieve a “win-win” outcome.

Speaking of career, could you elaborate on your current role and responsibilities?

Amelia Tan: In my current role, I oversee the review, planning and implementation of energy-related infrastructure in Singapore. This includes analysing and endorsing electricity and gas transmission infrastructure to strengthen and protect the backbone of our power system. As the system grows, we are always assessing its vulnerabilities and identifying areas that require reinforcement.

I also review and establish the necessary technical requirements to bring new and exciting technologies into the power system without compromising our overall energy security and reliability.

Nicholas Lim: I work closely with our licensees to ensure that the electricity system, which comprises all power stations and the power grid, are developed in a cost-effective manner to ensure adequate, reliable and secure electricity to consumers in Singapore. If necessary, my work entails investigating power outages and voltage dip incidents and taking appropriate enforcement actions against licensees found to have breached any regulatory requirements.

“It is fulfilling to work with experienced engineers in EMA.” Nicholas Lim

Having risen to the role of Senior Engineer, could you tell us about your experience of working in EMA?

Amelia Tan: I feel that EMA is pioneering a remarkable turn of the tide in the energy industry in the transition toward more sustainable energy. They lead a collective charge in identifying, planning and executing projects that will bring us closer to our net-zero target. I enjoy how things are dynamic and never stagnant, which makes for an electrifying career so far!

Nicholas Lim: It is fulfilling to work with experienced engineers in EMA. As an EMA engineer, I have acquired insights into the workings of the energy sector and what it takes to keep Singapore’s lights on.

My colleagues in the Electricity System Department are open to sharing their knowledge and experiences with me and have been amazing mentors and co-workers. There is always a new and challenging problem to solve, and I know that I’ll always have the strength of the entire department behind me.

Based on your experiences of working in EMA, what would share with students about this industry?

Amelia Tan: For prospective career seekers, joining EMA during this critical period for the energy sector offers great opportunities to develop great problem-solving skills for a meaningful cause. On a personal level, my career in EMA drives me to keep the lights on for Singapore and lights up my own inner world!

Nicholas Lim: EMA plays an active role in regulating and developing the energy sector, from advancing manpower capabilities and innovations to day-to-day operations that ensure the continued reliability and safe operation of Singapore’s power system. Therefore, there is a wide range of opportunities to learn and work with the energy sector, regardless of your field of expertise and interest.