The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the aim to accelerate sustainable, carbon neutral development. The Jeju Special Self-Governing Province aims to lead global low carbon green growth. By 2030, the island is planning to put in place a carbon-free infrastructure comprising a Smart Grid, broad electric vehicle (EV) network, renewable energy generation and more.
As part of this engagement Jeju will – whenever applicable – give preference to IEC International Standards for its infrastructure development and participate in IEC standardization activities via the Korean IEC National Committee (KATS). In return, the three entities will share information and needs that will help close gaps and improve IEC International Standards.
One of the reasons for this agreement is to avoid proprietary industry specifications, for example, for electric vehicles. Those tend to make charging infrastructure development more costly and more complex than necessary.
Says Jeju Governor Mr Won Hee-ryong: “Some car manufacturers develop their own EV charging technologies rather than using existing IEC International Standards. This creates a dilemma in terms of infrastructure development: which plugs should we give preference when it is impossible to install all? This is also a source of conflict in neighbourhoods where some car owners may have trouble finding a charging station that fits their needs.”
The IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk explains: “Proprietary Standards reduce interoperability and cross-manufacturer solutions. In terms of infrastructure development they can increase cost if every technical solution were to be taken into consideration. By building infrastructure and regulations that are based on IEC International Standards, governments such as Jeju are able to better satisfy the needs of citizens while reducing costs.”
Mr Jeh Dae-shik, Administrator of the KATS adds: “The KATS is responsible for building Korean national infrastructure. In this context the KATS actively participates in international standardization activities with the aim to harmonize Korean Standards with IEC and ISO International Standards. We are happy that this MoU will further expand the adoption and use of IEC International Standards whenever possible.”
As part of this MoU, the three partners plan to regularly exchange information on standardization and conformity assessment for EVs, Smart Grid, Smart Cities, microgrids, renewable energy generation and all other relevant IEC standardization and conformity assessment work.