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Governing the transition of socio-technical systems: A case study of the development of smart grids in Korea

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  • Ngar-yin Mah, Daphne
  • van der Vleuten, Johannes Marinus
  • Chi-man Ip, Jasper
  • Ronald Hills, Peter

Abstract

This paper examines the motivations, processes and outcomes of the development of smart grids in South Korea through the perspectives of governance and innovation systems. Drawing on desktop research and semi-structured interviews, this paper has two major findings. First, the development of smart grids in Korea has been shaped by various factors including macroeconomic policy, the role of the government, and experimentation. The complex interactions between these factors at the landscape, regime and niche levels has impacted on the development of smart grids. Second, while Korea's government-led approach has its strengths in driving change, it has also exposed weaknesses in the country's ability to mobilise the private sector and consumer participation. Major obstacles including partial electricity market reform and public distrust exist. A systemic perspective is needed for policy in order to accommodate the changes required for smart grid development. Regulatory reforms, particularly price-setting mechanisms, and consumer engagement are priority areas for policy change.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngar-yin Mah, Daphne & van der Vleuten, Johannes Marinus & Chi-man Ip, Jasper & Ronald Hills, Peter, 2012. "Governing the transition of socio-technical systems: A case study of the development of smart grids in Korea," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 133-141.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:45:y:2012:i:c:p:133-141
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.02.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chou, Jui-Sheng & Gusti Ayu Novi Yutami, I, 2014. "Smart meter adoption and deployment strategy for residential buildings in Indonesia," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 336-349.
    2. Mah, Daphne Ngar-yin & Wu, Yun-Ying & Ip, Jasper Chi-man & Hills, Peter Ronald, 2013. "The role of the state in sustainable energy transitions: A case study of large smart grid demonstration projects in Japan," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 726-737.
    3. Welsch, Manuel & Bazilian, Morgan & Howells, Mark & Divan, Deepak & Elzinga, David & Strbac, Goran & Jones, Lawrence & Keane, Andrew & Gielen, Dolf & Balijepalli, V.S.K. Murthy & Brew-Hammond, Abeeku , 2013. "Smart and Just Grids for sub-Saharan Africa: Exploring options," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 336-352.
    4. Ford, Rebecca & Walton, Sara & Stephenson, Janet & Rees, David & Scott, Michelle & King, Geoff & Williams, John & Wooliscroft, Ben, 2017. "Emerging energy transitions: PV uptake beyond subsidies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 138-150.
    5. Kazutoshi Tsuda & Michinori Uwasu & Keishiro Hara & Yukari Fuchigami, 2017. "Approaches to induce behavioral changes with respect to electricity consumption," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 7(1), pages 30-38, March.
    6. Erlinghagen, Sabine & Markard, Jochen, 2012. "Smart grids and the transformation of the electricity sector: ICT firms as potential catalysts for sectoral change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 895-906.
    7. repec:eee:tefoso:v:122:y:2017:i:c:p:262-274 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. IqtiyaniIlham, Nur & Hasanuzzaman, M. & Hosenuzzaman, M., 2017. "European smart grid prospects, policies, and challenges," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 776-790.
    9. Gangale, Flavia & Mengolini, Anna & Onyeji, Ijeoma, 2013. "Consumer engagement: An insight from smart grid projects in Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 621-628.
    10. Muench, Stefan & Thuss, Sebastian & Guenther, Edeltraud, 2014. "What hampers energy system transformations? The case of smart grids," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 80-92.
    11. repec:eee:rensus:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:137-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:tefoso:v:126:y:2018:i:c:p:231-243 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Lin, Chen-Chun & Yang, Chia-Han & Shyua, Joseph Z., 2013. "A comparison of innovation policy in the smart grid industry across the pacific: China and the USA," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 119-132.
    14. repec:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:794-806 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Ngar-yin Mah, Daphne & Hills, Peter, 2014. "Participatory governance for energy policy-making: A case study of the UK nuclear consultation in 2007," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 340-351.
    16. Yanshan Yu & Jin Yang & Bin Chen, 2012. "The Smart Grids in China—A Review," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(5), pages 1-18, May.
    17. Chou, Jui-Sheng & Kim, Changwan & Ung, Thanh-Khiet & Yutami, I Gusti Ayu Novi & Lin, Guo-Tai & Son, Hyojoo, 2015. "Cross-country review of smart grid adoption in residential buildings," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 192-213.

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    Keywords

    Smart grid; Korea; Socio-technical systems;

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