A Research Platform for Singapore

Connecting District Energy and Power Systems in Future Singaporean New Towns


The project aims at developing a computational approach for integrated planning and operation of district-scale energy systems. The focus is on interlinking the design of thermal systems and electrical systems to exploit synergies in the system infrastructures, such as storage capabilities, demand side flexibility and ancillary services.

Approach and Methodology

Conventionally, the planning and operation of urban energy systems and power systems are not coordinated. However, high interdependencies of these systems exist, necessitating the need for their integrated planning and operation. This proposal addresses a new concept of energy efficient district-scale systems for Singapore new towns. First, innovative modelling concepts for the integrated design of districts are defined. For modelling, detailed spatial and constructional knowledge of district-scale demand side along with power system topology and grid layout is taken into consideration. Detailed physical-based modelling of dependent parameters of energy and power system infrastructures is carried out. The main feature of the proposed modelling tool is its ability to handle multiple temporal and spatial resolutions. The developed modelling tool is then used to devise operational strategies, achieving higher economic and operational efficiency of new towns. These strategies simultaneously exploit flexibilities from energy and power system infrastructures. As a proof of improved operational standards of new towns, the designed flexibility strategies are compared against current market mechanisms (e.g. Interruptible Loads and Demand Response from Energy Market Authority of Singapore) and operational standards (e.g. reliability and losses) of the Singapore power grid.


In order to demonstrate the adaptability of new towns as a framework for testing new technologies, an interactive open-source tool based on the City Energy Analyst is developed. Finally, the analyses are carried out to comment on the improvements in

  1. reliability,
  2. cost and
  3. sustainability of districts.,


The developed tool will not only improve the sustainability and self-sufficiency of future Singapore new towns, but also aid in making the district energy system planning more resilient for future trends, e.g. a higher share of electric vehicles.


This project is a joint effort between TUMCREATE and the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) at the Singapore-ETH Centre.