South Korea’s LG Group is the latest electronics company to enter the energy management solutions market.

A report in local newspaper the Korea Herald confirms that LG Group affiliates, including LG Electronics, LG Chem and LG CNS, are developing an energy solutions business, which is expected to be the group’s next growth engine after consumer electronics and smartphones.

In a move to “shake up the market”, as Koo Bon-moo, chairman of the conglomerate, said in a speech earlier this year, the group is venturing into energy storage systems, solar panel modules and power converter devices.

Energy efficient production

The divisions are already active in energy management within their own production facilities.

LG Chem, a large lithium-ion battery maker, has an energy storage system in full operation at its business site in North Jeolla Province, in full operation.

LG CNS, the information and communication technology solutions firm, is expected to finish installing its smart lighting systems at LG Display’s production sites replacing 530,000 fluorescent lights with light-emitting diodes.

LG Electronics, LG Chem and LG CNS have also established a microgrid solution, which oversees the generation, distribution and consumption of electricity, at a solar power plant in South Chungcheong Province.

Smart energy storage

Meanwhile, the US branch of Japanese company Sharp has launched SmartStorage energy solution, which is available throughout California and will be expanded to other states in the second half of 2014.

The new product from Sharp Electronics Corporation aims to dramatically cut utility demand charges for commercial and industrial buildings.

SmartStorage keeps a large amount of electric energy stored in reserve, which it selectively releases in order to limit a facility’s electricity demand using predictive controls. It operates effectively either as a stand-alone solution or when deployed together with a solar electric installation.

“HelioPower views SmartStorage as a game-changer for clean energy in California,” said Brandon Conard, chief strategy officer of HelioPower, an integrated energy solutions company with more than 4,000 solar and clean energy installations to date in the California market.

“Previously, there was no good solution for buildings with either crowded roofs or high demand charges. We have reviewed a number of other emerging storage offers and believe that SmartStorage, backed by Sharp’s world-class combination of technology, reliability and service track record, is the best product in the market.”

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