December 16, 2020 Read More →

Korea sets 42% renewable energy target by 2034

The Korea Herald:

Renewable energy will take up nearly 42 percent of South Korea’s power generation capacity by 2034, according to a blueprint for the national energy mix unveiled Tuesday.

The final draft of the Ninth Basic Plan for Electricity Supply and Demand for the years 2020-2034, drawn up and released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, reaffirms President Moon Jae-in’s commitment to move away from nuclear power and toward renewables.

While the country’s electricity generation capacity is projected to surge to 185.3 gigawatts by 2034, from 120.5 gigawatts this year, renewables will account for 41.9 percent followed by liquefied natural gas at 31.8 percent and coal at 15.6 percent. Nuclear power is projected to provide 10.4 percent.

That represents a major change in the energy mix, which currently depends on coal. Last year, coal, LNG and nuclear power were the mainstay of electricity generation in Korea, contributing 40.4 percent, 25.9 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively. Renewables made up just 6.5 percent of total electricity production.

In detail, the plan envisions the shutdown of 30 coal-fired power plants by 2034, which will have reached their operational lifetime limit of 30 years by then. To ensure a stable electricity supply, 24 of the facilities will be turned into liquefied natural gas power plants.

To compensate for the smaller numbers of coal-fired plants and nuclear plants, the government will roll out renewable energy generation facilities with a combined capacity of 77.8 gigawatts by 2034, almost quadruple the current 20.1 gigawatts. Though the government’s midterm goal was to increase Korea’s capacity for solar and wind power to 29.9 gigawatts by 2025, the target has been adjusted to 42.7 gigawatts, as President Moon Jae-in’s Green New Deal initiative is expected to add an additional 12.8 gigawatts.

[Kim Byung-wook]

More: Korea to quadruple renewable power by 2034, downsize nuclear, coal

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