Korea to build a smart grid pilot complex - 11 Sep 2009

The Korean government has announced it plans to build a smart grid pilot complex by 2011 to enhance the country's ability to use renewable energy.

The grid would merge ordinary power lines with information technology and satellite communication systems and permit real-time monitoring of electricity demand and output. The complex will act as a test bed to check the feasibility of the system before expanding it to a national scale.

The plan is part of Korea's effort to increase its percentage of green energy from 2.4% of total power produced at present to 11% in the next two decades.

Smart grids can also help the country introduce hybrid or plug-in electric cars that require detailed monitoring of power quality.

In addition to better use of clean energy, the system can allow consumers to immediately check how much power they are using and choose to operate appliances when the price is cheapest. The country operates a flexible electric power pricing system that levies more during peak times of the day.

A basic plan will be drawn up by November on where to build the smart grid pilot complex, with construction to be finished by June 2011.

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