South Korea Emerges as Global Player in Nuclear

A group let by Korea Electric Power Co. bids on Abu Dhabi reactor projects

1 min read

It's been obvious for a long time that South Korea is the Sweden of Northeast Asia--a modest-size country that is so high-tech-savvy and business-smart that it consistently punches way above its weight. But it still comes as a surprise that a Korean nuclear construction group is entering the ring to slug it out with France's Areva and a GE-Hitachi team for a reactor construction contract in the United Arab Emirates, as the Wall Street Journal reports. The group, led by Korea Electric Power Co., includes Samsung and Hyundai, as well as Japan's Toshiba-Westinghouse. With six reactors under construction, Korea plans to build a dozen more by 2030.

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This Dutch City Is Road-Testing Vehicle-to-Grid Tech

Utrecht leads the world in using EVs for grid storage

10 min read
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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