South Korea Says Smart-Grid Test May Spur Technology Exports

South Korea’s $200 million test of a so-called smart grid on Jeju Island may lead to an expansion of the network nationwide and spur exports of the technology, the country’s ambassador for energy and resources said.

South Korea, where SK Telecom Co. (017670) and Korea Electric Power Corp. (015760) are working on a test grid to deliver electricity using digital systems, plans to market the technology abroad, Ambassador Kim Jong-yong said today in an interview at a Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in London. The country will work with the U.S. on developing the technology, he said.

The two nations are working on smart grids to reduce power- supply costs and increase energy efficiency. President Barack Obama’s administration has earmarked $4.5 billion of stimulus funding for such networks, while South Korea said in January that a countrywide smart grid may cost 27.5 trillion won ($23 billion), with 24.8 trillion won coming from the private sector.

“We want to share this technology with other countries to join in the global efforts to address problems such as global warming,” Kim said today. “After we complete the test bed, demonstrate it, prove it efficient and fix the weak points, we’ll extend it nationwide by 2030.”

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