Tomorrow's cities: Engineering the energy transition

Date: 28 March, 2019

On 28 March, Tomorrow's cities: Engineering the energy transition will take place. An event initiated by Danfoss and presented by Eco-Business and the Danish Embassy. 
This high-level, thought-provoking forum will focus on identifying concrete solutions to advance action in the areas of energy efficiency, green buildings, cold chain and the electrification of the marine sector.

Almost 7 million people move to cities in Southeast Asia each year. As urbanisation drives the exponential growth of cities in the region, governments and businesses are turning to smart solutions and data analytics to provide better infrastructure services for their people.

But with the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries calling the region home, it is no longer enough to be a smart city—cities must become climate-smart to survive. Smart solutions could eliminate 270,000 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually—five times the volume of Singapore's yearly greenhouse gas emissions. But is Southeast Asia prepared to seize this opportunity for sustainable development? What are the business opportunities ahead?

Organised by Eco-Business in partnership with Danfoss and the Danish Embassy, Tomorrow’s cities: Engineering the energy transition asks:

  • As Southeast Asia’s cities get smarter, how can they also become climate-smart?
  • How can governments and business prepare for a decarbonised future and retain their edge during the global transition to clean and renewable energy?
  • What are the success stories, business models and technologies available to drive sustainable, energy-efficient transformation?

Details of the event:

Date: 28 March 2019
Time: 8.45am – 4pm
Venue: National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897

Register now, using the password EBTOMORROW2019. We look forward to seeing you there!

View the detailed agenda and reserve your seat here


9.15am: Opening remarks by Ms Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor, Eco-Business

9.20am: Welcome speech by Ms Dorte Bech Vizard, Danish Ambassador to Singapore

9.35am: Keynote presentation by Mr Soren Kvorning, President Asia Pacific, Danfoss


Singapore has been lauded as a model of sustainable development in the region and has successfully reduced its emissions intensity by 37 per cent between 2000 and 2014, yet absolute emissions are growing. With the bulk of Singapore’s emissions coming from the burning of fossil fuels for energy, the question of clean energy and energy efficiency looms large over the resource-strapped island nation. How can Singapore, with its goal to become a leading smart nation in the region, harness
technology to improve energy efficiency? Is technology enough to stop the climate crisis?

  • With few clean energy alternatives, how can Singapore’s industries minimise their energy footprint and maximise energy efficiency to meet its climate targets?
  • What are the technological solutions available that could have an impact?
  • Is Singapore’s carbon tax, which recently came into effect, enough of a push?
  • How can Singapore’s regulators achieve bigger impact with existing energy
    efficiency policies?
  • What can other sectors of society such as consumers do to pitch in, especially in
    light of the liberalised energy market?
  • Where are the business opportunities for those that keep up with the pace of


  • Mr Ang Kian Seng, Group Director, Environmental
    Sustainability Group, Building and Construction Authority Singapore
  • Mr Nilesh Jadhav, Programme Director, EcoCampus, Energy Research Institute @ NTU
  • Mr Soren Kvorning, President Asia Pacific, Danfoss
  • Ms Lauren Sorkin, Regional Director Asia Pacific, 100 Resilient Cities

Jessica Cheam, Managing Editor, Eco-Business


"[Energy] efficiency can enable economic growth, reduce emissions and improve energy security. The right efficiency policies could enable the world to achieve more than 40 per cent of the emissions cuts needed to reach its climate goals without new technology," according to Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency.

Yet financing options for energy efficiency programmes, from machinery upgrades to building retrofitting, remain limited despite the opportunity for significant carbon emissions. This fireside chat will take an in-depth look at the difficulty in securing funding for energy efficiency projects and examine alternative funding models available on the market, with the aim of answering the question: how can we scale up finance for energy efficiency in Southeast Asia, and faster?


  • Ms Marilyn Ho, Senior Sales Manager, ASEAN,
    CSI Leasing
  • Mr Nicolas Parrot, Head Transportation Sector -
    Investment Banking Asia Pacific, BNP Paribas

Moderator: Mr Henning Gloystein, Energy Editor, Asia, Thomson Reuters

According to the International Energy Agency’s 2-degree scenario, building-related carbon emissions must fall by 85 per cent from current levels b y 2060. While green building standards and the adoption of renewable energy is paving the way for new
builds with lower carbon footprints, there still leaves a large building stock to be greened, as Singapore alone aims to green 80 per cent of its bu ilding stock by 2030.
But energy efficiency is the unsexy, neglected child of the climate debate, and funding the retrofits needed for greener cities has been a challenge. How can city planners
and building owners overcome this?

  • The urgency of the climate crisis demands immediate action in reducing the carbon footprint of cities. Are there low-hanging fruit left for Singapore?
  • Can old buildings really be retrofitted to be as sustainable as new builds?
  • What kind of technologies or behaviour change do we have to imp lement, and is IoT the solution? Besides the energy efficiency of a building, how can we ensure that retrofits will take into account the behaviour and culture of its occupants?
  • What do banks and investors require to be convinced of the huge business opportunity of funding retrofitting? Will new instruments such as green bonds close the financing gap?


  • Jethani Vinod, Regional Business Development Manager, Danfoss
  • Mr Allan Teo, Regional Head, Asia Pacific Network, World Green Building Council
  • Ms Joelle Chen, Director Global Partnerships & Marketing, Intelligent Air Solutions, Mann+Hummel


Moderator: Ms Shalini Krishnan, Director of Partnerships, Eco-Business

The growth of the cold chain for food distribution has enabled citizens of the developed world to enjoy whatever they want, whenever they want. For a country such as Singapore that imports 90 per cent of its food, ensuring a reliable cold chain is more than a matter of food safety, it’s about food security. The increasing popularity of e-grocers among Singapore’s time-starved urban population is driving expansion of the cold chain locally, and governments around the world are tightening regulation on production and supply in the wake of food safety scandals. But as any supply chain manager knows, cold storage demands a massive amount of energy, and also uses environmentally polluting refrigerants. How can logistics firms, food retailers, and cold chain managers meet the demand for cold storage while keeping energy and ecological costs low?

  • Have natural refrigerants made a sizeable impact in the cold chains of today?
  • What benefits does the digitisation of supply chains, currently sweeping the
    industry, offer for the cold chain in Singapore?
  • What does a green, modern temperature-controlled storage facility look like?
  • What are some of the most cutting-edge technological innovations that can
    shrink the energy footprint of the cold chain?


  • Mr Vikas Anand, Head of DCS, APR and India, Danfoss (Panel only)
  • Ms Gwyneth Fries, Senior Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Agility
  • Mr Dexter Huerto, Manager, Segment Marketing, Danfoss Cooling Asia Pacific & India

Moderator: Mr Robin Hicks, Deputy Editor, Eco-Business

It’s not a vision of the future; marine electrification is already here. Countries from Norway and Finland to Asian neighbours China and Taiwan proving water and electricity can mix. Advances in battery technology and tighter environmental regulations are driving the comeback of the electric engine, and building a case for a future in which the shipping industry - responsible for more than 80 per cent of all goods transported and 2.5 per cent of carbon emissions globally - is powered by electricity. But it’s not going to be smooth sailing - electric vessels are costly, the technology is nascent and such a switch will require an overhaul in infrastructure and mindsets in the island’s storied marine sector, which accounts for 7 per cent of GDP and 170,000 jobs. Speakers on this panel take a hard look and ask if Singapore is ready for electrification, and how it can start to do so in order to decarbonise the industry for a more sustainable future.

  • Singapore has the fifth largest ship registry in the world, and to electrify them all would be a massive undertaking, to say the least. Where should a country like Singapore begin in order to start shifting ships, ferries, ports towards electrification? What are the obstacles?
  • What are lessons for Singapore from successful cases of marine electrification around the world, and how can those cases be adapted for the Singapore example?
  • Researchers, governments and shipping companies are also looking at alternative fuels such as methane, hydrogen, LNG. Could we ever find ourselves in a position where we simply replace bunker fuel with these lower carbon fuels, and simply carry on with the status quo?
  • Regulation—as seen in the recent earth-shaking decisions made by the IMO—is
    clearly a key driver of change in what is otherwise a very traditional industry. What
    else can governments and multilateral agencies do to facilitate the transition to a
    clear, low-carbon shipping sector? Does the Sea Transport Industry Transformation
    Map go far enough to encourage this, in your view?
  • Lack of standardised regulations internationally has also been a bone of contention, when it comes to port frequency charges, for instance. What can be done?


  • Mr Bryan Koh, Managing Director, BOS Offshore & Marine
  • Mr Sanjay Kuttan, Executive Director, Singapore Maritime Institute
  • Mr Ong Wah Lam, Director, Center of Excellence, API Region, Danfoss

Moderator: Ms Stefanie Beitien, Director of Partnerships, Eco-Business

Register now