South Korea Investing $7.18 Billion In New Smart Grid

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Once again, South Korea is taking the green initiative by investing $7.18 Billion into a Smart Grid in an effort to curb their country’s CO2 Emissions and improve the efficiency of their electricity market. This major overhaul is headed up by Korea Electricity Power Corp (KEPCO) and they hope to have the project completed by 2030.

Facts about the investment

The newly announced investment means that the country will draw 11% of its energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Of the 8 trillion won (US$7.18 billion) investment, $358 million will be spent per year until 2016, then another round of $2.1 billion by 2020, and the total investment will be made by the year 2030.

How will this help?

Constructing and relying on a smart grid allows for greater efficiency in power distribution and maintenance. Metering, monitoring, and balancing demand form the core of a smart grid, and allow two-way communications between supplier and consumers. Consumers can play a more active role in determining their power usage through home appliance monitoring and direct feedback from the grid.

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South Korea’s green efforts

Although South Korea is ranked as a high-carbon polluter within the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development  (OECD), it has been praised for smaller-scale efforts like turning landfills into hydrogen generators, constructing massive 131-acre rooftop gardens, and introducing electric scooters for local cops. It still remains a relatively high carbon polluter, but as you can see from the chart above, it is investing a ton more into green technologies and policies, relative to its total investments, than any other major economy (except perhaps the EU).

In 2010, Seoul was named the world design capital for its efforts on greening the city. Many highways are lined with solar panels and throughout the capital are dedicated parks, tree-lined streams brought back to life after being covered by urban development, and other green gestures.

It is nice to see that South Korea is taking its emissions serious and trying to improve its image in the world, while at the same time making the country better for its citizens.

Photo Credit: by eryoni via Flickr

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