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GS chairman pins hopes on smart grids

April 8, 2012 - 19:57 By Shin Hyon-hee
GS Group chairman Huh Chang-soo on Friday stressed smart grids as key to the future growth and climate efforts of Korea’s fifth-largest industrial group.

Huh called on company officials to develop new technologies and boost commercialization capabilities for the conglomerate’s signature energy business during his tour to smart grid test-bed facilities on Jeju Island.

The nascent technology enables transferring electricity loads to off-peak hours via a two-way, real-time communication between power suppliers and consumers.

“We need to transition to a low energy consumption society through rational and efficient power use,” he was quoted as telling officials from GS Caltex Corp. and GS Engineering & Construction. 
GS Group chairman Huh Chang-soo takes a look at electric car equipment at group affiliate GS Caltex’s smart grid test bed in Jeju on Friday. (GS Group)

“We should secure distinct technologies and abilities to commercialize them to create a foundation for sustainable growth and spearhead the crucial energy industry.”

The group’s refining and construction units are among 43 companies taking part in the government’s pilot project since 2009. Multiple consortiums are led by Korea Electric Power Corp., POSCO, KT Corp. and Hyundai Heavy Industries.

On the resort island, GS Caltex promotes its electric car charging equipment, large-scale power storage systems and energy-saving technology, while GS E&C showcases information technology-embedded home appliances along with LG Electronics.

The government has been fostering smart grids as one of strategic areas under its “green growth” initiative with a goal of bringing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions to 4 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Reckoning the time required by new technologies to come to fruition, Huh underscored the significance of constant research and development and investment.

“Confidence and a long-term perspective are more important than short-term results especially when we face increasing economic uncertainties and depleting growth opportunities,” the 64-year-old chairman added.

By Shin Hyon-hee (