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Jeju Island becomes a global leader in smart grid development

2011 first Smart Grid Day celebration was held in Jeju Isaland (Photo: Yonhap news)

The first Smart Grid Day celebration was held at the Jeju Smart Grid Information Center on November. Also called the ‘smart power network,’ the smart grid test was launched on Jeju Island for the first time in Korea.

A smart grid is a system that controls all the processes of generating, distribution, and consumption of electricity through Information Technology to help consumers and suppliers exchange information.

This technology allows information such as the quantity of electricity consumed, the amount supplied, and condition of power lines to be released. Power consumption and cost can be checked immediately and it is also possible to avoid peak times to lower power rates. The system could optimize electrical efficiency, increasing the quality of life and predicting how much energy should be generated in advance and controlling consumption by checking how much is left. That way, wastage can be minimized, CO2 emissions can be abated, and global warming can be prevented.

The event, held to generate more domestic and international publicity for the system and also encourage social consensus among Jeju’s inhabitants, screened promotional videos for Jeju Island which is a mecca for green growth. In addition, Jeju Province, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), and Korea Southern Power (KOSPO) signed a memorandum of understanding to designate Gapa Island a carbon-free green space.

In the afternoon, the “smart grid leading city” seminar was held with participation from corporations involved in the project. The purpose of the event was to organize the Korea-Japan-China cooperation system and promote the Jeju Smart Grid to improve the national image. Performances and corporate exhibitions were also organized as side events.

The Smart Grid system has high growth potential as it can be linked to other industries to increase efficiency. Other recommended utilities include the electric power industry, the information and communications industry, the electric vehicle industry, the construction industry, and power storage systems. In fact, in 2009 160 enterprises launched test projects in various industries such as smart vehicles and new renewable energy. Enormous implications for the new system are expected, as the market size was predicted to expand to ten quadrillion Korean won by 2030.

The Korea Smart Grid Association said that it will build up the world’s best smart grid model city by 2012 and then create a consumer-centered megalopolis by 2020 under the vision of creating a carbon-free green growth nation. The ultimate aim is to make Korea the world’s first smart grid country by 2030.

By Lee Seung-ah Staff Writer

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