Daegu aims to emerge as major ‘smart-grid’ city

Ahead of the official announcement of the government-led smart-grid project, Daegu signed a business cooperation agreement with large companies to cooperate in turning Daegu into a major smart-grid city.

Faced with dissipating natural resources and global warming, the world is now suffering from serious energy shortages and diverse environmental disasters. Korea is also faced with unprecedented electricity shortage problems. Building smart-grids is regarded as being a solution to those problems, and it has been among the key policy agendas not just for the previous government but also the incumbent administration.

Despite recently heightened worries over power shortages, Korea has remained in limbo in building additional nuclear power plants due to lingering safety concerns following the Fukushima disaster coupled with their high construction costs and many other restraints. It, instead, has sought to cope with the current challenges by seeking out alternative new renewable energy sources and to intensify the efforts to conserve electricity consumption.

This is where smart-grids come in as they are regarded as being the third industrial revolution and a solution to the global energy crisis. Since 2008, Korea has conducted business feasibility tests on about 6,000 homes on Jeju Island, and the government aims to build nationwide smart-grid systems by 2030. It will also push to transform municipal cities, in phases, to major smart-grid strategic cities by 2016.

Daegu City has been working to complete its own feasibility tests on 100 homes in Gangrim-ri, Dalseong-gu, construct solar-power facilities in industrial complexes and build smart-grid strategic cities faster than initially planned so as to save electricity and also create new jobs and new industries.

In particular, Daegu signed an agreement, on May 21, to work together with large businesses, a move aimed at taking the upper hand in the competition to host a smart-grid strategic city before the government unveils its smart-grid project in June. 

Participating companies: Hyundai AutoEver, LG CNS, Hyosung Industries, Daesung Energy, DGIST

“Hosting a smart-grid strategic city in Daegu will serve as a chance for us to create a new regional growth engine and, at the same time, help boost the country’s overall energy industry,” Daegu Mayor Kim Bum-il said.

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