The market for smart grid equipment in South Korea is expected to grow by more than 20% during the five years to 2019.
New research suggests that rapid industrialisation coupled with higher living standards has resulted in a sharper focus on the environmental impact of emissions from fossil-fuel-based power stations.
The South Korean government has imposed emission cuts on power plants as well as invested in clean and renewable power sources.
A report by Research and Markets suggests that as smart grids have the ability to integrate power generated from renewable and non-renewable resources, increased investment in the renewable energy sector is expected to propel the growth of the market.
South Korea is likely to invest in smart meters, software and hardware, smart T&D equipment, communication and wireless network infrastructure and sensors over the next three years, according to the market research.
Key vendors in the market are ABB, GE Energy, IBM, POSCO ICT and Siemens Energy.
Other prominent vendors are GS Caltex, Hyosung, Hyundai Heavy Industries, KT, LG Electronics Alstom, Nuri Telecom, SK Energy and SK Telecom.
Domestic smart grid equipment
South Korea is also developing home-grown smart grid equipment with a view to export.
In June 2015, Kepco announced a US$9.1 million contract to create a microgrid in Canada, the first deal for the state-run power company in North America, The Korea Herald reported.
As part of the memorandum of understanding, Canada's fourth-largest power supplier PowerStream will use Kepco technology to develop micro and smart grids in its service area.
The agreement also gives Kepco the option to bid to update PowerStream's supervisory control and data acquisition systems.
Kepco said its micro grid system based on an energy management system can control wind and solar power as well as other renewable energy sources.
The company said the agreement also outlines a separate US$3.67 million joint Kepco-PowerStream investment plan for the Penetanguishene region of Ontario, according to The Korea Herald.
The deal follows an announcement in October 2014 of Kepco's strategy to turn its smart grid technologies into a global export.
Kepco said it plans to spend US$155 million between 2015 and 2017 on developing smart grid technologies.