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News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Nanyang Technological University is building Southeast Asia's first offshore system that will integrate multiple renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal, diesel, and power-to-gas technologies Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) is building an offshore system that will integrate multiple renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal, diesel, and power-to-gas technologies. The region's first large-scale offshore power grid system, it will have four hybrid microgrids, occupying over 64,000 sq metres of land or roughly about eight soccer fields. The system will be built at Semakau Landfill which is managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA). It will have over 3,000 sq. metres of photovoltaic (PV) panels, including energy storage systems that are already in operation. The deployment of the first hybrid microgrid was announced today by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources at the Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES) held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands. "I am happy to announce that the first microgrid has just been deployed and it will enable the National Environment Agency (NEA) to power its infrastructure on Semakau Landfill using electricity generated through zero-carbon means. The use of energy storage and microgrid control technologies will allow the landfill to reduce its reliance on diesel-based power and transition towards renewable energy. I am also pleased to share that REIDS will deploy 3 further microgrids on Semakau Landfill to test the interoperability of various microgrid solutions." Once all four hybrid microgrids are fully built, they are expected to produce stable and consistent power in the megawatt (MW) range, suitable for small islands, isolated villages, and emergency power supplies. It will also produce energy amounting to the equivalent of the average energy consumption of 250 4-room HDB flats for a year. Fish hatcheries and nurseries located at Semakau Landfill will be among the first to be powered. Built under the Renewable Energy Integration Demonstrator-Singapore (REIDS) initiative led by NTU, the hybrid power grid system will test the integration of solar, wind, tidal-current, diesel, energy storage and power-to-gas technologies and ensure these energy sources operate well together. NTU Chief of Staff and Vice-President (Research) Prof Lam Khin Yong said "The deployment of this first hybrid microgrid is a big leap towards low-carbon electricity production for the nation and the region. As a global leader in sustainability research, NTU is proud to champion this ground-breaking initiative and lead Singapore's charge in developing practical renewable energy solutions." Supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and NEA, NTU's REIDS initiative will also facilitate the development and commercialisation of microgrid technologies suited for a tropical island. Mr Goh Chee Kiong, Executive Director of Cleantech at EDB said, "Singapore has identified microgrids as a key growth area for the clean energy industry. REIDS is the largest microgrid R&D platform in Southeast Asia and therefore is instrumental to Singapore's ambition to achieve a global leadership position in microgrids and serve the regional markets. Since its launch in 2014, the REIDS platform has been successful in attracting leading solution providers and regional adopters to develop, demonstrate and export microgrid solutions from Singapore." Mr Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer of NEA, said, "The REIDS project will lead to innovative sustainable energy solutions that will help to address climate change. The National Environment Agency (NEA) is very pleased to support this landmark effort to explore the integration of renewable energy into micro-grid solutions." Managed by NTU's Energy Research Institute (ERI@N), the REIDS initiative is expected to attract $20 million worth of projects over the next five years, in addition to the initial $10 million investment in infrastructure at the landfill. REIDS has attracted investments from top energy and microgrid companies which aim to co-develop such solutions to serve the growing market in Southeast Asia. The four microgrid systems will be developed by ENGIE, GE Grid Solutions, LS Industrial Solutions (LSIS) and Schneider Electric. Other partners include Accenture, Class NK, DLRE, Renewable Energy Corporation (REC), Trina Solar. LSIS and Sony were also announced as partners today at ACES 2016. The REIDS platform will pave the way for similar technologies to be developed and exported to serve the numerous remote communities in Southeast Asia and beyond. It has already attracted the interest of regional adopters such as island communities and utilities. For instance, Bawah Island, an Indonesian island in the South China Sea, and Meralco, the largest electric distribution company in the Philippines, will partner REIDS to develop offshore microgrid projects. See Annex A for more info on the hybrid microgrids project and Annex B for a list of companies involved in NTU's REIDS initiative. A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London. NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes - the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering - and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI). Ranked 13th in the world, NTU has also been ranked the world's top young university for the last two years running. The University's main campus has been named one of the Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore's medical district. The hybrid microgrids at Semakau Landfill will be implemented in two phases. The first phase, which has been completed, involved installing a microgrid facility with over 3,000 metre square of photovoltaic (PV) panels as well as a large-scale energy storage system. The lithium-ion energy storage system (ESS) can store up to 200 kilowatt hour (kWh), similar to the monthly energy consumption of a two-room HDB unit, and will serve as a medium term energy storage. Currently in the second phase, a 64,400 metre square plot (about 8 soccer fields) was cleared to make way for three separate microgrids which can either be operated separately or be integrated and function as a single power facility. These separate microgrids will each manage multiple renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, diesel generators and energy storage systems, including supercapacitors. Supercapacitors differ from normal lithium-ion energy storage as they are able to both quickly store and discharge a large amount of electricity. However, they are unable to hold the electricity over a long period of time, serving as short term energy storage. Excess energy generated from the microgrid can be used to generate hydrogen that can be stored long-term to be subsequently used in fuel cells which convert hydrogen into electricity, generating far less emissions as compared with oil and gas. 1. Accenture - one of the world's leading organizations providing management consulting, technology and outsourcing services 2. Class NK - not-for-profit society dedicated in providing classification and technical services to maritime and clean tech industries 3. DLRE - Singaporean company focusing on microgrids, distributed generation, remote area power systems 4. ENGIE - world's largest independent electricity producer with activities in electricity generation and distribution, natural gas and renewable energy 5. General Electric Grid Solutions - industry leader in electric power generation, electric grid equipment, and transport solutions 6. LSIS - South Korea's leading electrical components manufacturer 7. Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) - top company that operates the world's largest integrated solar manufacturing complex outside of China in Singapore 8. Schneider Electric - global company specialising in electricity distribution, automation, and energy management 9. Sembcorp - leading energy, water and marine group operating across five continents worldwide. 10. Sony - leading corporation in the field of large-scale energy storage systems for power grids 11. Trina Solar - pioneer of China's photovoltaic industry and global solar modules, and solutions provider 12. Varta AG - a leading global energy storage solutions provider 13. Vestas - a world leader in manufacturing and installation of wind turbines 1. Economic Development Board - Lead government agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore's positing as a global business centre 2. National Environment Agency - Lead government agency responsible for improving and sustaining a clean and green environment in Singapore 1. Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS) - SEAS represent the interests and provide a common platform for companies in renewable and clean energy to collaborate and undertake viable projects together


News Article | September 3, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

A worker fogs the drains in the common areas of a public housing estate at an area where locally transmitted Zika cases were discovered in Singapore August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore confirmed 26 more cases of locally-transmitted Zika infections, the health ministry and National Environment Agency (NEA)said in a joint statement on Saturday, bringing the tally to 215. Of the 26 new cases, 24 were linked to existing clusters while two cases have no known links to any existing cluster, they said. The sequencing analysis of the Zika virus found in two patients from an existing cluster in Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive, showed that the virus was not imported from South America, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and NEA said. "The analysis found that the virus belongs to the Asian lineage and likely evolved from the strain that was already circulating in Southeast Asia. The virus from these two patients was not imported from South America." The MOH and NEA said a research team that conducted the analysis would release more details shortly. The Malaysian health ministry said earlier on Saturday that it had detected the first case of a locally transmitted Zika infection in Malaysia, in a 61-year-old man in the state of Sabah. The Zika virus was detected in Brazil last year and has since spread across the Americas. It poses a risk to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects.


News Article | September 4, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

A worker fogs the drains in the common areas of a public housing estate at an area where locally transmitted Zika cases were discovered in Singapore August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore confirmed 26 more cases of locally transmitted Zika infections, the health ministry and National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint statement on Saturday, bringing the tally to 215. Of the 26 new cases, 24 were linked to existing clusters while two cases have no known links to any existing cluster, they said. The sequencing analysis of the Zika virus found in two patients from an existing cluster in Aljunied Crescent/Sims Drive, showed that the virus was not imported from South America, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and NEA said. "The analysis found that the virus belongs to the Asian lineage and likely evolved from the strain that was already circulating in Southeast Asia. The virus from these two patients was not imported from South America." The MOH and NEA said a research team that conducted the analysis would release more details shortly. The Malaysian health ministry said earlier on Saturday that it had detected the first case of a locally transmitted Zika infection in Malaysia, in a 61-year-old man in the state of Sabah. Zika was first identified in Uganda in 1947 and was unknown in the Americas until 2014. The virus is currently affecting large parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, with Brazil the hardest hit so far. Zika infections in pregnant women have been shown to cause microcephaly - a severe birth defect in which the head and brain are undersized - as well as other brain abnormalities.


Wong P.-S.J.,National Environment Agency | Li M.-z.I.,National Environment Agency | Chong C.-S.,National Environment Agency | Ng L.-C.,National Environment Agency | And 2 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2013

Background:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a little known arbovirus until it caused a major outbreak in the Pacific Island of Yap in 2007. Although the virus has a wide geographic distribution, most of the known vectors are sylvatic Aedes mosquitoes from Africa where the virus was first isolated. Presently, Ae. aegypti is the only known vector to transmit the virus outside the African continent, though Ae. albopictus has long been a suspected vector. Currently, Ae. albopictus has been shown capable of transmitting more than 20 arboviruses and its notoriety as an important vector came to light during the recent chikungunya pandemic. The vulnerability of Singapore to emerging infectious arboviruses has stimulated our interest to determine the competence of local Ae. albopictus to transmit ZIKV.Methodology/Principal Findings:To determine the competence of Ae. albopictus to ZIKV, we orally infected local mosquito strains to a Ugandan strain virus. Fully engorged mosquitoes were maintained in an environmental chamber set at 29°C and 80-85%RH. Twelve mosquitoes were then sampled daily from day one to seven and on day 10 and 14 post infection (pi). Zika virus titre in the midgut and salivary glands of each mosquito were determined using tissue culture infectious dose50 assay, while transmissibility of the virus was determined by detecting viral antigen in the mosquito saliva by qRT-PCR. High dissemination and transmission rate of ZIKV were observed. By day 7-pi, all mosquitoes have disseminated infection and 73% of these mosquitoes have ZIKV in their saliva. By day 10-pi, all mosquitoes were potentially infectious.Conclusions/Significance:The study highlighted the potential of Ae. albopictus to transmit ZIKV and the possibility that the virus could be established locally. Nonetheless, the threat of ZIKV can be mitigated by existing dengue and chikungunya control program being implemented in Singapore. © 2013 Wong et al.


News Article | August 26, 2016
Site: www.sej.org

"Air pollution in Singapore rose to the "unhealthy" level on Friday as acrid smoke drifted over the island from fires on Indonesia's Sumatra island, the city-state's National Environment Agency (NEA) said, in a repeat of an annual crisis. Every dry season, smoke from fires set to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia clouds the skies over much of the region, raising concern about public health and worrying tourist operators and airlines. The 24-hour Pollution Standards Index (PSI), which the NEA uses as a benchmark, rose as high as 105 in the afternoon. A level above 100 is considered 'unhealthy'."


Yap G.,National Environment Agency | Sil B.K.,National Environment Agency | Ng L.-C.,National Environment Agency
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2011

Background: The necessity of a venous blood collection in all dengue diagnostic assays and the high cost of tests that are available for testing during the viraemic period hinder early detection of dengue cases and thus could delay cluster management. This study reports the utility of saliva in an assay that detects dengue virus (DENV)-specific immunoglobulin A (Ig A) early in the phase of a dengue infection. Methods and Findings: Using an antigen capture anti-DENV IgA (ACA) ELISA technique, we tested saliva samples collected from dengue-confirmed patients. The sensitivity within 3 days from fever onset was over 36% in primary dengue infections. The performance is markedly better in secondary infections, with 100% sensitivity reported in saliva samples from day 1 after fever onset. Serum and salivary IgA levels showed good correlation (Pearson's r = 0.69, p<0.001). Specificity was found to be 97%. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that this technique would be very useful in dengue endemic regions, where the majority of dengue cases are secondary. The ACA-ELISA is easy to perform, cost effective, and especially useful in laboratories without sophisticated equipment. Our findings established the usefulness and reliability of saliva for early dengue diagnosis. © 2011 Yap et al.


Li M.I.,National Environment Agency | Wong P.S.J.,National Environment Agency | Ng L.C.,National Environment Agency | Tan C.H.,National Environment Agency
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2012

Background: Zika virus (ZIKV) is a little known flavivirus that caused a major outbreak in 2007, in the South-western Pacific Island of Yap. It causes dengue-like syndromes but with milder symptoms. In Africa, where it was first isolated, ZIKV is mainly transmitted by sylvatic Aedes mosquitoes. The virus has also been isolated from Ae. aegypti and it is considered to be the vector involved in the urban transmission of the virus. Transmission of the virus by an African strain of Ae. aegypti has also been demonstrated under laboratory conditions. The aim of the present study is to describe the oral susceptibility of a Singapore strain of Ae. aegypti to ZIKV, under conditions that simulate local climate. Methodology/Principal Findings: To assess the receptivity of Singapore's Ae. aegypti to the virus, we orally exposed a local mosquito strain to a Ugandan strain of ZIKV. Upon exposure, fully engorged mosquitoes were maintained in an environmental chamber set at 29°C and 70-75% RH. Eight mosquitoes were then sampled daily from day 1 to day 7, and subsequently on days 10 and 14 post exposure (pe). The virus titer of the midgut and salivary glands of each mosquito were determined using a tissue culture infectious dose50 (TCID50) assay. High midgut infection and salivary gland dissemination rates were observed. By day 5 after the infectious blood meal, ZIKV was found in the salivary glands of more than half of the mosquitoes tested (62%); and by day 10, all mosquitoes were potentially infective. Conclusions/Significance: This study showed that Singapore's urban Ae. aegypti are susceptible and are potentially capable of transmitting ZIKV. The virus could be established in Singapore should it be introduced. Nevertheless, Singapore's current dengue control strategy is applicable to control ZIKV. © 2012 Li et al.


Vythilingam I.,National Environment Agency
Tropical Biomedicine | Year: 2010

Plasmodium knowlesi in humans is life threatening, is on the increase and has been reported from most states in Malaysia. Anopheles latens and Anopheles cracens have been incriminated as vectors. Malaria is now a zoonoses and is occurring in malaria free areas of Malaysia. It is also a threat to eco-tourism. The importance of the vectors and possible control measures is reviewed here.


News Article | August 31, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Singapore has become the latest area to have Zika descend upon it, and the country's health ministry has reported that it now has a total of 82 locally-transmitted cases of the virus as of Aug. 29. This is quite the development for the Asian city-state, which didn't have any instances of the sort until just several days ago. If that wasn't bad enough, the amount of locally-transmitted cases is quite shocking when compared with other locations as well. Eighty-two doesn't seem like that large a number on paper, but it is almost twice that of the 43 cases reported in Florida, despite Singapore having only about one-fourth of its population — five million. Unfortunately, officials believe this number will only increase as more people are tested in the coming days. "Given that the Zika virus is spread by the Aedes mosquito vector, MOH cannot rule out further community transmission in Singapore, since some of those tested positive also live or work in other parts of Singapore," Singapore's health ministry said in a statement. Singapore confirmed its first locally-transmitted case on Aug. 27, followed by 41 others the following day. By late Monday, the total amount of cases rose to 56 and increased further to the aforementioned 82 by late Tuesday. Of those infected, three dozen of them were foreign construction workers at the Sims Urban Oasis apartments construction site where they worked and lived with more than 450 others. However, following reports of the outbreak, it has shut down. However, while the site has been shut down — thus eliminating the chances of transmission through that method — there are still others ways the virus can spread. For example, it is known that many of the roughly 360,000 foreign workers in Singapore's building industry are from the Indian sub-continent, but the local government has yet to disclose to any other countries (such as India) and whether its nationals are among those diagnosed. It's because of that, as well as the government's apparent lackadaisical approach to notifying the public, that prompted locals to call for improvements on its practice of public notice. "Part of the reason that we have discovered more cases is because we have now gone back to the cases that were seen before by doctors. They were not suspected to have Zika, because they have no travel history and so on," health minister Gan Kim Yong told the local Today newspaper. In the meantime, while the government's notifications may be wanting, its efforts to combat Zika itself have been anything but. As of Aug. 29, officials from Singapore's National Environment Agency have reportedly sprayed insecticide and inspected about 5,000 premises out of 6,000 in in the Sims Drive and Aljunied Crescent areas, as well as destroyed 39 potential mosquito-breeding spots and have served notices to 400 inaccessible buildings to arrange for inspection. While Zika may be a new threat to fight in Singapore, locals are no stranger to mosquito-borne illnesses due to their longstanding battle with dengue fever. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | August 26, 2016
Site: www.reuters.com

SINGAPORE/JAKARTA (Reuters) - Air pollution in Singapore rose to the "unhealthy" level on Friday as acrid smoke drifted over the island from fires on Indonesia's Sumatra island, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said.

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