Here is something that would be a massive project to be undertaken in the US so it will be interesting to see what the feasibility of the smart grid is in a smaller country like South Korea:
After the country suffered a major power blackout last year and watched Japan turn away from the nuclear power it has relied on for decades, the focus is shifting from finding ways to generate large amounts of power to efficient management of power resources.
Enter the so-called smart grid. Korea is one of the few countries that has already adopted the concept and is testing the system out. However, some analysts argue that the government needs to be more aggressive in pushing forward the development of a smart grid system.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy first introduced a long-term plan for a digital system for electricity supply, dubbed the smart grid, in 2009. It’s set to announce a more specific five-year plan at the end of this month.
The larger framework will stay the same: efficient energy use and further commercialization of new technologies. The detailed plan will shed more light on how that will be done, including the development of battery systems with larger capacities that can store energy for homes and factories, according to the official at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
A smart grid is a digitally enhanced electrical grid that gathers, distributes and acts on information about both electricity providers and consumers in order to improve the efficiency of electricity services. It is supposed to minimize the waste or loss of electricity in the course of its delivery.
“Many people still are not familiar with the idea and it will take time for the system to be widely commercialized,” said Son Jong-cheon, director of the Korea Smart Grid Institute’s policy planning team. Currently, there is one town testing the technology on Jeju Island, and other small test centers across the nation.
The system will better predict energy demand of each type of consumer, including homes, office buildings and factories, and prevent the kind of blackout that occurred last September due to a spike in electricity demand. [Joong Ang Ilbo]