POST-COVID19: S Korea makes head start in smart energy solutions

2020.05.14 14:08:25 | 2020.05.14 16:59:13

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South Korea has a head start in the burgeoning service of rationalizing and maximizing energy storage through artificial intelligence (AI) and big data technologies thanks to its fast adoption of smart energy solutions under the government green drive campaign.

As part of the Korean government’s efforts to foster the growth of hidden champions in the energy sector, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy will pick six local energy startups and provide them with aids worth up to 1 billion won ($814 million) each. The ministry will receive application until June 8.

Energy startups are those that provide services of operating renewable energy, as well as developing solutions that can improve energy efficiency rate and manage electricity demand. Those who seek the government’s aids should engage in the development of energy-IT integrated solutions, parts and materials that support the operation of renewable energy sources and innovative energy production methods.

The Korean government has vowed to support new energy startups mixing AI and big data technologies to improve energy efficiency.

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KT Corp."s KT-MEG system. [Photo by KT Corp.]

Thanks to digital impetus, the global energy market is growing bigger and is expected to create new jobs. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, the global energy market is estimated to have 100 million jobs by 2050, nearly doubled from 58 million in 2017. The renewable energy sector would hire 41.9 million workers and energy efficiency 21.3 million.

About 64 percent of the renewable energy sector jobs are expected to be created in Asia, said a Korea Energy Information Culture Agency official.

Korea has already made headway.

State utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) has developed a comprehensive energy management system, which allows real-time management of energy including gas, electricity, and heat used at various manufacturing plants. It has installed the system at KEPCO’s 120 office sites across the country. Also, it is working with local factories to install the system.

LG CNS Co., a system integration unit under LG Group, has launched Enerdict, a smart energy platform designed to increase power consumption efficiency.

KT Corp., an internet service provider, has introduced KT-MEG (Micro Energy Grid) solution for virtual power plant (VPP) – a cloud-based distributed power plant that enables enhancing power generation, consumption and trading or selling power on the electricity market.

By Oh Chan-jong and Cho Jeehyun

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