Korea’s largest power provider KEPCO says it will use blockchain and other innovative energy solutions to develop its next-generation micro grid (MG).
KEPCO is a $15.9 billion market cap corporation in which the South Korean government and state-controlled bank hold a majority stake; it has a “virtual monopoly” over power generation and distribution in the country, according to Asia-focused publication Nikkei.
KEPCO’s new “Open MG” will reportedly harness blockchain and other technologies to improve energy infrastructure, particularly for the local hydrogen economy. To this end, it will focus on decentralization, decarbonization and digitalization, described in the press release as being the three key “trends” driving the future of the energy industry.
As the press release outlines, earlier MGs faced hurdles in providing stable power as they comprised mostly small PVs (PhotoVoltaics, used to generate solar energy), wind turbines (WTs), and energy storage systems (ESS).
KEPCO’s Open MG will draw on an “additional fuel cell” as a power source in order to increase energy self-reliance and efficiency, and without the emission of greenhouse gases, a company official has explained. Using international standard technology, the MG is expected to be more interoperable, thereby preventing “system bottleneck” and fragmentation in the industry.
As per the press release, KEPCO intends to develop the Open MG at full-scale and create the “first” mega-wattage (MW)-scale micro grid in Korea.
As reported last month, KEPCO has partnered with Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, IT service management company Nihon Unisys, and the University of Tokyo on a joint research project into the possible use of blockchain for distributed electricity supply.
In early November, the South Korean government pledged to triple its budget (to $35 million) for developing the domestic blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) industry in 2019.