February 21, 2018 Read More →

South Korea Embarks on Transition to Renewables and Gas

GreenTech Media:

South Korea took action this month to strengthen its grid in preparation for a major boost in renewable energy generation.

At the beginning of the month, the state-owned Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) picked U.S. infrastructure provider GE Power to build a 4-gigawatt high-voltage DC (HVDC) transmission link from the east of the country to the capital, Seoul, in the northwest.

The $320 million contract “will increase the stability and reliability of the Korean electrical transmission grid by adding new routes for power supply,” said GE Power in a press release.

The project will be delivered through KAPES, a joint venture that Kepco set up with GE in 2012 to carry out HVDC and flexible AC transmission system work in South Korea and beyond.

GE said South Korea’s energy demand has grown by almost 35 percent in the last decade.

The latest HVDC project follows the December publication of a power supply plan that will see gas and renewables gradually replacing coal and nuclear in South Korea’s generation mix between 2017 and 2031.

Coal and nuclear account for more than 70 percent of the country’s electricity supply, with renewables making up just 6 percent. Wind and solar each contribute about 1 percent to the power mix today.

Under the new plan, South Korea aims to meet 20 percent of its total electricity consumption with renewable energy resources by 2030, Reuters reported.

The transition will see the coal total falling to deliver 36.1 percent of electricity supply by 2030, and nuclear covering a further 23.9 percent.

“To achieve that goal, Asia’s fourth-largest economy aims to increase its installed capacity of renewable power to 58.5 gigawatts by 2030, from 11.3 gigawatts this year,” said Reuters.

The country plans to add 30.8 gigawatts of solar to its generation portfolio, along with 16.5 gigawatts of wind.

More: South Korea Strengthens Grid to Take on More Renewables

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