The next-generation electricity infrastructure.

The world’s leading electricity giants are betting big on high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems as a growth engine for the next-generation electricity infrastructure.

The HVDC system refers to an alternative electricity transmitting technology that guarantees high efficiency and security in managing electricity.

LSIS, the nation’s leading electrical components manufacturer, says the market scale for the global HVDC industry will exceed $143 billion by 2030, surging tenfold from $14 billion in 2010.

HVDC uses direct current (DC) to transmit electrical power, in contrast to more commonly used alternating current (AC) systems.

Ever since Nikola Tesla defeated Thomas Edison in the introduction of electric power transmission systems in the 1890s, the AC-based transmission, which Tesla strongly supported, has been used for more than 130 years.

But with the rise of information technology in the early 2000s, the AC-based electrical system began to be overloaded. This led electricity companies ― including Siemens, ABB and Alstom ― to boost their investment in HVDC. For now, the three electricity giants are dominating the global HVDC market.

Although the companies have used the technology for more than 40 to 50 years, domestic electricity companies have failed to set up infrastructure for the DC-based transmitting technology.

In Korea, LSIS is one of a few leading companies to develop HVDC systems.

In 2009, the Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) partnered with LSIS and LS Cable & System to develop HVDC systems with domestic technology.

Before that year, the country had to rely on foreign electricity giants’ technology to use HVDC. Korea built infrastructure for HVDC for the first time in 1997 with the help of French-based electricity company Alstom.

But Korea began to accelerate its drive for HVDC infrastructure in 2013 when KEPCO and Alstom signed a partnership deal to exchange technologies to build an HVDC-based ecosystem here. LSIS was picked as the key partner to boost the business.

Last year, LSIS began to build HVDC infrastructure between Chungcheong Province and Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province.

Foreign electritiys giants control some 95 percent of the HVDC market.

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