Kim Kyung-rog, CEO of Schneider Electric Korea
With a shift in the nation’s energy policy from supply-driven to demand management, the energy management market in Korea will be bullish within the next five years, said the head of the Korean unit of Schneider Electric.
“Interest in saving energy and improving energy efficiency is growing among all types of energy consumers ― from companies to home owners ― as the power rate continues to rise,” CEO Kim Kyung-rog told The Korea Herald. Schneider Electric is a France-based energy management solution provider.
Power consumers started to feel the pinch of higher power bills this year as the government raised the electricity rate by 5.4 percent on average in November again to curb power consumption and to boost the power management market. This was the second rise within the year, following a 4 percent increase on average in January.
Industry watchers forecast the power rate is likely to continue the upward trend depending on the draft of the second national basic plan for energy for 2013 and 2035, which the Energy Ministry submitted to the National Assembly for approval last week.
According to the draft, demand for electricity is expected to rise much faster than power supply, at an annual rate of 2.5 percent, expanding to 70.2 million tons of oil equivalent, or TOE, by 2035, up 80 percent from 39.1 million TOE in 2011.
“As the power supply has a limit for growth in a country with a high density of power plants, power spenders here are turning their eyes to power demand management for cost-saving,” Kim said.
Specialists of Schneider Electric monitor the energy management system installed in the company’s headquarters in Rueil Malmaison, near Paris. (Schneider Electric)
“Inquires over the company’s power management system, in particular, from such power consuming industries as steel, shipbuilding, refineries and hospitals, have jumped, following the power rate hikes.”
Power users could save up to 30 percent in electricity costs if they control their power supply and demand, while raising power efficiency, according to the power efficiency improvement solution provider.
“As an example, Le Hive, the headquarter building of Schneider Electric in Rueil Malmaison, 10 kilometer west of Paris, cut 47 percent of its annual electricity usage in 2013 compared with that in 2009, after it introduced the company’s integrated energy management system,” Kim said.
To maximize the effect of the energy management system, Kim advised users to have an official to monitor and control the system while inserting it into the processes of their businesses.
Rising demand for power management has spurred the growth of Schneider Electric Korea. The company said it has posted double-digit growth in its businesses, including power management solution business, in Korea for the past ten years, except in 2006.
“Korea is a strategic market for Schneider Electric in that it has demand for a power management system itself and it has a number of industrial companies to export manufacturing goods requiring an energy efficient solution,” Kim said.
Schneider Electric offers its energy management solutions to Korean construction firms that build energy-efficient plants overseas and to shipbuilders to export eco-friendly ships.
“The company also will further expand partnership with Korean information technology & communication companies to develop a better power management solution,’’ Kim said.
In July, Schneider Electric developed a three-phase uninterrupted power supply solution based on the lithium-ion battery jointly with Samsung SDI, the world’s top LIB manufacturer.
By Seo Jee-yeon (email@example.com)