The second Korean-German Energy Day brought together some 100 experts to discuss the potential for smart networks for renewable energy system integration. The event took place during the International Renewable Energy Conference (KIREC) in Seoul. Germany and Korea are transforming their energy systems, and face similar challenges: both countries want to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, increase the share of renewable energy, and gradually increase energy efficiency. At the same time, the two countries want to phase out nuclear energy and reduce fossil fuel consumption. Since both nations have a strong industrial base, security of supply and competitiveness are necessary factors.
Existing energy systems in Germany and Korea
The share of renewable energies in the electricity mix is far lower in Korea than in Germany. However, Korea deals with fewer technical challenges compared to Germany, as the nation is not linked to neighbouring countries. Both countries need to expand, optimise and digitise their power grids in order to integrate renewable energy. There is an imbalance between renewable energy production sites and the consumption centres in Germany and Korea. The nations also face the problem that parts of the population reject the expansion of renewable energy production and electricity grids.
Learning from each other: Korean smart grids and German network flexibility
Some 100 experts from politics, business, academia and civil society discussed possible solutions for the system integration of renewable energy and the potential of smart grids. While Korea is leading in the field of energy storage and smart grid technologies, Germany has extensive expertise in the development of renewable energy and flexible power grids. Keynote speakers addressed the challenges and opportunities that both countries face due to the energy transition and how to exploit the potential through smart design. Keynote speeches were given by Jeong-Il Kim, Head of Innovation Policy at the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), and Thorsten Herdan, Head of Energy, Warmth and Efficiency at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
Representatives of industry also took part: transmission and distribution system operators (50Hertz, KEPCO), energy storage system providers (Samsung SDI, QINOUS), and smart grids (LSIS, Next Kraftwerke, TÜV SÜD Korea). Participants presented demonstration projects and discussed common challenges.
At the end of the day, they agreed on the enormous potential of greater cooperation between Korea and Germany to overcome technical challenges and successfully manage the energy transition.
The Korean-German Energy Day took place on 24 October 2019 as part of the 8th International Renewable Energy Conference (KIREC) in Seoul. AHK Korea and adelphi took part on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).