When a growing nation with growing energy needs such as South Korea proclaims it’s going to smarten up its electric grid, technology companies across the globe — not surprisingly — take note. South Korea has a rich and determined plan for a completely integrated smart grid by 2030. The major Asian economic region has finally realized its industry advantages in the smart grid sphere and developed a comprehensive road map to leverage these assets toward a nationwide smart grid. Kim Seung Woo, an analyst at Samsung Securities, told Bloomberg, “The upgraded power grid will help the nation, which buys all its energy needs from overseas, reduce import of coal, gas and oil.”  Currently, the government has utilized its resources and that of the state-run transmission operator, KEPCO, to implement one of the world’s largest and ambitious smart grid test projects on Jeju Island. Jae-Seob Kim, CEO of Korea Smart Grid Institute (KSGI) explained to Zpryme, “on Aug 2008 during the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Republic of Korea, President Lee Myung-bak announced Low Carbon Green Growth as the new national vision for the next 50 years. Since then Korea has been bracing on low carbon “green” technologies such as smart grid. Recognizing smart grid as the key solution to achieve Low Carbon Green Growth vision, in 2009, Korea announced its National Smart Grid Roadmap and came up with a proactive and ambitious plan to build a smart grid test-bed on Jeju Island. The Jeju smart grid demonstration project has 168 Korean and foreign companies participating and is the largest scale of smart grid test-bed carried out in Korea. Korea plans to develop new business models through the test-bed and hope to contribute to global GHG reduction goals.” Faster than industry experts expected, South Korea has joined the ranks of smart grid and clean tech deployment global leaders such as the U.S. and China.

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