South Korea

South Korea

South Korea targets 58.5GW wind and solar by 2030

SOUTH KOREA: The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy plans to make a five-fold increase in the country's renewable energy capacity by 2030, it has announced.

Kim Hyun-chong (above) was announced as South Korea's new trade minister at the end of July
Kim Hyun-chong (above) was announced as South Korea's new trade minister at the end of July

Growth "mainly coming from wind and solar" would lead to South Korea’s installed renewables capacity increasing from 11.3GW today to 58.5GW by 2030, the ministry stated.

This 58.5GW figure would account for 33.7% of the country’s electricity-generating installed capacity by 2030 – up from 9.7% today.

The government aims to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by the same date, with natural gas supplying 18.8%, coal 36.1% and nuclear 23.9%.

Draft publication of the ministry’s eighth Basic Plan for Long-term Electricity Supply and Demand follows President Moon Jae-in announcement in June that the country would move away from nuclear energy and towards an "era of clean energy".

It is unclear how much wind power would account for in the 2030 renewables mix of 58.5GW. South Korea is expected to have 1.05GW installed by 1 January 2018, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly. Meanwhile, it has 1GW of solar PV installed, according to market researchers at Bernreuter Research.

While the government plans for the capacity of renewable energy facilities to increase, the capacity of LNG power plants and coal-fired plants will also rise, though at a slower rate. LNG is planned to increase from 37.4GW to 47.5GW, and coal from 36.8GW to 39.9GW. These capacity increases include power facilities already planned.

LNG power stations and pumped storage hydroelectric facilities with a combined capacity of 4.3GW would need to be added, the ministry stated. Currently, the country has 118.3GW of existing or already planned power generation facilities.

Five nuclear power reactors would also enter operation, while 11 are to be taken offline during the period, as the installed nuclear capacity rises from 20.4GW to 22.5GW, the ministry stated.

This power mix would be designed to meet a peak electricity demand of 100.5GW by 2030 – scaled down by 11% from the 113.2GW the country forecasted two years ago. This is because the South Korean economy is expected to grow at a slower pace than it was anticipated in 2015, the ministry stated.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy intends the plan to help "cut generation of fine dust and greenhouse gas emissions", a government spokesperson stated.

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