Korea Electric Power Corp. (Seoul), South Korea's number 1 electricity producer, has announced it plans to invest $1.8 billion (2 trillion won) over the next five years in a smart grid. The project is part of a larger government initiative to reduce carbon emission. The South Korean government has previously mentioned that state and private spending on smart grid infrastructure could reach nearly $21 billion by 2030.
According to Hong Sung Eui, the corporation's head of strategy, smart grid implementation may cut approximately 10% of the country's annual power consumption, which currently costs the equivalent of $33.16 billion.
Kim Seung Woo, an analyst at Samsung Securities, told Bloomberg, “The upgraded power grid will help the nation, which buys all its energy needs from overseas, reduce import of coal, gas and oil.”
South Korea is aiming to boost renewable energy--including solar and wind power--up to 11% of total supplies by 2030. The current figure is 2%.
In 2009, the government voluntarily agreed to reduce carbon emissions by 30% from the expected 2020 level or, in other words, 4% below the 2005 level. Korea Electric is also hoping to export smart grid technologies and will target sales of $4 billion annually starting in 2030.