Control of power demand by raising electric charges has limitation, and electric power authorities need to set up predictable road map.
The NAEK held the 36th Energy Forum.
Many experts argue that more fundamental solution is needed for stabilizing power supply and demand, such as switch in system in demand aspect, rather than taking short-term measure like increase of electric charges as power supply and demand is unstable throughout the year regardless of seasons.
They assert that the electric power authority should not only increase supply of power but also stabilize supply systems through optimal energy mix and technology innovation on mid- and long-term basis, while establishing low-consumption energy system by improving efficiency and controlling demand based on information communication technology (ICT).
Experts also suggested to set up predictable road map that can deliver messages on long-term perspective.
The National Academy of Engineering of Korea (NAEK) held its 36th Energy Forum on September 4 at Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul under the theme of ‘Power Shortage Era: In Search of Solution for Energy Issues’. At the Forum, Vice President Pak Gyu-ho of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) presented a paper on the theme, and three panelists expressed their opinions. Panelists include Prof. Kim Chang-seob at Gachon University, Executive Director Seong Gi-yong at POSCO, and Team Manager Han Song-su at Samsung C&T Corporation’s Technology Research Center.
In his paper, Vice President Pak Gyu-ho at KEPCO argued that optimal energy supply and demand system should be established through technology innovation that can build the energy market represented by prices and achieve energy efficiency. He explained healthy price signal should be provided that can support smart consumption behavior of consumers.
And he suggested organization of reasonable relative prices between energy sources through such price signal, establishment of market mechanism through fuel cost linkage system, augmentation of power price system based on demand control, including increase of power charges for industrial companies during peak hours, and power source mix, taking account of social acceptance of nuclear power plants.
Particularly, Vice President Pak Gyu-ho said that electric power authorities can ease imbalance in supply and demand and reduce environmental pollutants, such as carbon emission by optimizing efficiency through development of sustainable smart energy technologies. He also said they can create growth engine of the nation through this. Namely, he explained that they can lead the new energy ecosystem by creatively converging existing networks with smart networks through harmony between electricity and ICT.
Panelists showed different views on some specific points.
Prof. Kim Chang-seob at Gachon University said, “The electric power authority is seeking to ease instability in power supply and demand by combining market with technologies, but the world’s lowest level of electric charges in Korea is a hurdle.” And he stressed the necessity of innovating market through open policy. Arguing that restructuring of electricity industry should be discussed again assuring openness, he said the market must be opened using tangible and intangible assets.
Executive Director Seong Gi-yong at POSCO pointed out the situation where similar power shortage phenomenon is repeated every year and electric power authorities promised not to repeat the same situation announcing this and that measures, but the country experienced emergency situation in this year as before, and he expressed regret over adopting stopgap measures without long-term perspective.
He argued to put more emphasis on supply control rather than demand control, and he pointed out that demand was not controlled last year though electric charges were raised. He said electric power authorities need to basically revise electric charge system as a policy approach through investment for improving energy efficiency rather than curbing demand simply by increasing electric changes.
In a question, President Kim Ho-gyeong of HK Energy Consulting said, “Major cause of shortage in power supply in summer is cooling, and it can be eased by expanding dissemination of gas cooling systems. I cannot understand why electric power authorities do not distribute gas cooling systems while they can be sufficiently supported by spending a part of power management expenses that require more than 400 billion won a year.”
President Kim Ho-gyeong also said that it is desirable to induce consumers to manage demand by themselves by presenting a predictable road map so that it can deliver messages on long-term basis.
Meanwhile, Rep. Kim Yeong-hwan, a member of the National Assembly (Democratic Party), said that it is not an easy matter to expand power supply capacity as the people would not readily accept either nuclear power plants or private power plants, and that increase of electric charges cannot solve all problems.
Rep. Kim Yeong-hwan also explained that shortage in power supply is caused by insufficiency in short span of peak hours, and the country can generate 26 million ㎾ of power using emergency generators and independent generators. He said it will be possible to use 3 million kW at least if the country operates a part of them, and it is needed to work out an institutional measure to support them.
Source : e2news