Wednesday, March 23, 2011

South Korea’s Smart Grid Will Lead the New Green Revolution

South Korea is attempting to bring about a new green revolution with its own hands in an attempt to both cut down on CO2 emissions and also to make their electricity market more efficient.

They’re pouring somewhere around the ballpark of $7.18 billion dollars into making a new smart grid for the country. There will be an annual spending of $358 million until 2016. At this point there will be about $2.1 billion spent per year on the project.

It’s estimated that by the year 2030, the complete investment will have been made. You might find yourself wondering what a smart grid could possibly do to help the country. The reason for this is that those using it will only find themselves using as much electricity as they need to.

Even when you try to consciously cut down on electricity usage, you don’t have as much control as you may want to on how much you use. With the implementation of this smart grid, consumers will have a much bigger grip on how much they consume as long as they remember to use home appliance monitoring and give feedback directly through the grid.

In recent years, South Korea has been investing heavily in green technologies and policies. Despite the fact that the nation has been listed as a high-carbon polluter within the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, critics have been praising the fact that it has been attempting to clean up its act.

For example, it has turned landfills into hydrogen generators, constructed gigantic gardens on rooftops and in some places has even replaced traditional automobiles with electric scooters for police officers. Compared to other countries it has been investing much more in alternative forms of energy. For example, it has been estimated that out of the 972.1 billion dollars included in the United States’ stimulus package, only 11.6 percent has been green technology.

In comparison, out of the 38 billion dollars in South Korea’s stimulus package, a whopping 80.5 percent of that includes green technology. Some countries are doing an even worse job. Japan received 485.9 billion in its stimulus package but only a minuscule 2.6 percent of that is green technology.

South Korea is leading the way for alternative energy usage. The nation’s highways are adorned with solar panels. Seoul is also covered in parks, restored tree-lined streams that were previously covered by urban development and plenty of other green gestures.

For its laudable efforts, the International Council of Societies of Industrial design named Seoul the World Design City for 2010. This is a title well deserved, but only time will tell how much the smart grid will contribute to cutting down on emissions. ◦

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