5 things the U.S. could learn from South Korea's smart grid (especially #2)



Quick Take:  In the 1990s, South Korea was in distress due to the Asian financial crisis. Then it decided to build the infrastructure to become a "knowledge superpower.” First it deregulated the telecom sector to foster competition. Next it began to market broadband as a way for students to enhance their prospects in school. By 2012, South Korea’s high-speed Internet penetration rate topped 100% - the highest in the world.


In a similar fashion, Korea targeted sectors such as automobiles and electronics and its firms leapfrogged to global prominence. Now it has targeted the smart grid as its next leadership area, with the five key components shown below.


Skim this summary, or view the full article from the Guardian. And pay attention to #2. All over the world, I see utilities aggressively moving into new energy services. Everywhere except the United States, where utilities seem content to let companies such as EnerNOC and Solar City eat their lunch. - Jesse Berst


For South Korea, the smart grid is not merely a way to modernize the infrastructure. It is a platform to rethink energy from top to bottom.


As reported by The Guardian, this platform has five key components:

1.     Smart power. Self-healing, fast restoration and intelligent monitoring of demand.

2.     Smart service. Providing essential, commercial and industrial customers with electricity tariffs and services tailored to their needs.

3.     Smart place. Smart appliances, real-time pricing and demand management.

4.     Smart transport. Managing the connection of electric vehicles so their demand is met without overwhelming the system.

5.     Smart renewables. Connecting many variable sources of generation to the grid while maintaining high levels of stability.


Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.


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