To ensure the integrity of Seoul’s electricity supply and to prevent a state of emergency (such as paralysis of the urban infrastructure) even during a large-scale power failure, the city is establishing hydrogen fuel cell power stations and installing hydrogen fuel cell buildings throughout the metropolitan area.
Having set itself the target of installing 29 hydrogen fuel cell power stations and 102 hydrogen fuel cell buildings by 2014, Seoul plans to induce private capital and the participation of power producers.
In Seoul in particular, with its established power production facilities dispersed throughout the metropolis, it has been revealed that in order for the subway, water and sewage systems, and other infrastructures to remain operational, an electricity base system must be put in place.
As such, the establishment of the abovementioned power stations and buildings by 2014 will ensure that electricity is supplied on a stable basis to around 400,000 households through the production of 230MW (total amount of electricity).
Under the plan, the 29 hydrogen fuel cell power stations will supply urban infrastructure (subway car depots, etc) with 190MW, while the 102 hydrogen fuel cell buildings will supply hospitals (which require a safe, stable supply of electricity) and other important institutions with 40MW.
Evaluation of hydrogen fuel cells has shown them to have higher energy efficiency than fossil fuels, as well as being an ‘urban energy source’ with a small installation area. There are also plans for the construction of an energy base for Seoul to facilitate the switch from a centralized electrical supply system to one that is dispersed throughout the city.