Korean energy technology can be exported like K-pop
Posted : 2012-11-11 16:19
Updated : 2012-11-11 16:19
By Jun Ji-hye
Ahn Nam-sung president of KETEP
The spread of K-pop from initially Asia to Europe to Latin America has inspired the head of a Seoul-based energy think tank to have an "aha" moment regarding how to "export" Korea's energy technology.
Ahn Nam-sung, 57, who assumed the leadership post of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning in May, said he came up with the idea of passing Korea's energy technology on to developing countries after seeing a K-pop performance.
"Such an idea hit me when I was watching a performance of the popular girl group Girl's Generation," he said in an interview with The Korea Times Sunday.
"We named the business to help underdeveloped or developing countries that are suffering from a lack of energy Korean Energy Technology, or K-ET. We coined this term after being inspired by K-pop."
Ahn said a lack of networks in the energy market is a major obstacle to the distribution of energy.
"Considering that K-pop is so popular in such countries as Southeast Asia, it is not difficult to imagine how favorable their markets are toward Korea."
He called for the customization of the energy business in accordance with each country's needs in order to effectively provide electricity to those countries in need in Africa and Southeast Asia.
"For example, Middle Eastern countries are different from Korea regarding the characteristics of their energy market. To use solar power, for example, a product which can withstand high temperatures is needed there," he said.
Ahn noted that the nurturing of human resources and understanding of various regulations in each government was necessary to export technology.
"Sometimes it is very difficult to test energy performance in foreign countries because each country has different standards and regulations. We need to find a way to test energy performance while paying attention not to violate their regulations," he said.
Especially, he stressed that systematic management is essential to understand which country requires what kind of energy sources.
He believes such business plans can benefit both developing countries and Korea as well. "We can help develop those countries in need, and through these tasks we can also help Korean energy enterprises' expansion of their overseas markets."
To attract investment, Ahn said, cooperation between governments and the participation of financial institutions were needed.
"Regarding Southeast Asia, international institutions' help is also required," he said.
Meanwhile, the institute held an event, dubbed "2012 Korea Energy R&D Output Exhibition," at the KINTEX in Ilsan last Thursday and Friday.
The event featured performances and achievements of 220 enterprises and institutes related to the energy industry, and was an opportunity to share good business models. It also held a career fair to discover talented individuals in the sector.