SEOUL, March 8 (UPI) -- The largest electricity provider in South Korea said it was planning to invest $1.8 billion during the next five years on so-called smart grid technology.
Smart grid technology gives utility customers the ability to monitor price and supplies as an incentive to cut energy usage during high-demand periods.
Hong Sung-eui, a technology official at Korea Electric Power Corp., said employing smart grids would help the country use more renewable energy sources and cut overall energy consumption.
"A smart grid, which helps cut energy consumption and accommodate more wind and solar power, is essential for reducing harmful gases as the power sector is the biggest emitter in every country," he told Bloomberg News.
The South Korean government said it could invest as much as $2.4 billion on smart grid technology by 2030. The country could cut annual power consumption by as much as 10 percent using smart grids, added Hong.
Seoul said in 2009 it would cut carbon emissions to 4 percent less than 2005 levels by 2020. Electricity makes up about 40 percent of the overall emissions generated in South Korea, Asia's No. 4 energy consumer.
Renewable energy will make up about 11 percent of the power supplied to South Korean consumers by 2030 under the government plan.