Green momentumSouth Korea was tapped during the recent Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to lead development of “smart grid” technology. A smart grid uses digital technology to save energy, reduce costs, increase efficiency and transparency of energy resources and ultimately, modernize existing electrical grids.
Korea has been handpicked to develop and commercialize the upgraded power system, which has been singled out as one of seven revolutionary technologies with the potential to change the world. Korea must submit smart grid guidelines tailored to meet the demands and resources of other participating countries by the time the global forum meets again on Nov. 15. In short, it has to map out plans for a new electricity network powered by renewable energy and digital technology.
This new mission is meaningful for Korea in many ways. Externally, our digital technology and resources have been accredited by the global community. Domestically, the government has gained the momentum it needs to promote policies focused on environmentally-friendly economic growth. With international backing and interest, Korea can now provide a global standard for the modernization and integration of electrical grids based on intelligent technologies and make headway in the global market.
Exports of these new technologies can feed the country’s future growth. When commercialized, it is expected that smart grid networks will save around 6 percent electricity and reduce gas emissions by 4.6 percent a year. It is also likely that the technology will fund related industries to create a global market worth $40 billion in 2020 and $78 billion in 2030.
It could be our next source of income from overseas.
But Korea cannot become a green leader just because it has been named to lead the research. The government, industry and specialists will all have to cooperate to come up with a plan that works for the global community. We need to use the momentum to boost our future growth and develop a long-term plan of action. At the same time, it goes without saying that public support for the success of the new technology at home and abroad will be essential to this process.