South Korea will spend more than 4.2 trillion won (about $3.38 billion) over the next five years to develop green technology solutions in electronics products and communications services to reduce energy consumption, lower costs and boost manufacturing productivity, according to an announcement by the presidential Green Growth Committee Wednesday.
The “green” products will include low-power devices in personal computers, televisions, displays and servers. The country also plans to build a next-generation Internet network that is about 10 times faster than current broadband services.
The project will create 52,000 new jobs by 2013 and reduce the country’s carbon emissions by 18 million tonnes of CO2, government officials said.
Private companies are expected to provide 91.7 billion won of the green tech budget.
The plans laid out Wednesday represent the information-technology part of the government’s green deal, and initiatives for construction, transportation, water management, forestry and recycling were announced last month.
Governments around the world have been touting the environmental content of their fiscal stimulus programmes, and the Lee government is eager to line up behind the trend.
US President Barack Obama is clearly getting the most attention for this plans to develop e-government solutions, electronic healthcare and “smart grid” technologies, while Denmark also has ambitious plans described in its “Green IT Action Plan.”
“The quality of South Korea’s IT infrastructure, as well as the tech savvy of the people in general, give the country an ideal condition through achieving technology-driven green growth,” said an official from the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).
“The idea is to focus on key IT products ? PCs, T.V. and displays and servers ? that each represent major markets, but also consume power a lot. Carbon emissions from the main bodies of PCs reach over 4.6 million tonnes, and the number is more than 3 million tonnes for monitors and televisions, so building low-power alternatives will make a distinctive difference.”
Low-power PCs and portable computing devices, light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting technologies and solid-state drives (SSDs), which enable lower power systems and new applications, were identified as the main investment targets.
The government plans to introduce an industry standard for the green products and eventually required public organisations to replace their old devices and equipment with them.
Developing solutions to reduce power consumption of Internet data centers (IDCs), by advancing technologies for designing servers, is also an important part of the plan. This is connected to the efforts to introduce “cloud computing” solutions, which allow individuals and organisations to store data online and operate servers via remote computers.
The government will standardise the technologies for the energy-efficient IDCs and develop cloud-computing technologies based on open-source software platforms, while testing the services in government organisations.
Policymakers will work with telecommunications operators to build a foundation for the next-generation Internet network by 2012, and also advance the networks for WiBro, a homegrown wireless technology, and upcoming fourth-generation (4G) communication services.
Electronic office technologies, which enable remote working and other green office solutions, will also be fostered, and the government will take a closer look at e-book and other personal display technologies to reduce the use of paper at public organisations.
Separately, the government plans to invest around 8.4 trillion won through 2012 in the research and development (R&D) technologies of 27 green technologies that are currently ahead of the market. These include silicon solar cells, LPG hybrid cars, ultra-slim LED displays and atomic hydrogen production, among others. About 1.9 trillion won from the R&D budget is slated for use next year.