Korea is embarking on a smart grid future for its water and energy supplies with numerous economic and environmental benefits for both humans and nature.
Smart Water Grid
In Korea, good quality water for human and natural use is challenged by climate change extreme weather events and pollution from urbanization and industrial development. Korea’s water agency, K-Water, is responding to uncertainty in water quantity and quality by developing a Smart Water Grid that combines existing water grids with information and communication technologies. The Smart Water Grid enables K-Water to monitor real-time the entire water supply system to ensure adequate quantity and consistent water quality. The Smart Water Grid also comprises a sensor network inside the pipelines that collects and analyses water data including quantity, quality, pressure, leakage etc. In addition the Smart Water Grid enables customers to receive real time information about tap water quality over the whole production and transportation process.
Smart Energy Grid
Korea’s roadmap for a national smart grid aims to complete construction of a smart grid across metropolitan areas and the fitting of all households with smart meters by 2020 with the goal of completing a nation-wide smart grid by 2030. The development of a smart grid will eliminate around 230 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, create 50,000 jobs annually and remove the need to construct USD 2.8 billion worth of new power plants. To test the concept of smart grids, the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy established the Jeju Island Smart Grid Test-Bed project. The project, involving over 150 companies, aims to develop a smart grid that will collect real-time data on energy usage and demand with the data used to limit the unnecessary use of electricity and increase the efficiency of energy consumption.
Smart grids can be used to manage water and energy efficiently with significant economic and environmental benefits.