• South Korea may increase its renewable energy target to go up to 35% by 2040, according to media reports
  • The country has held a public hearing on this proposal under its draft energy masterplan
  • The new masterplan recommends saying no to new coal and nuclear power plants, and shutting down the old facilities

South Korea’s government is contemplating increasing its renewable energy share in total energy generation to between 30% to 35% through installation of 103 to 129 GW by 2040. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) has proposed this measure in a draft revision of the government’s energy master plan, according to Reuters. It is an effort in the direction of the country reducing its reliance on coal and nuclear power, it said. According to MOTIE, 155 to 235 GW of solar and wind could be installed.

In December 2017, under the new energy roadmap draft of the 8th Basic Plan for Long-Term Electricity Supply and Demand, MOTIE said the country would increase the share of renewables to from around 8%  to 20% by 2030. The 20% would equal 58.5 GW renewables  including around 30 GW of solar. The proposed increase comes on the back of a recommendation by a local unidentified advisory group, according to the director of MOTIE.

Korea’s government renews its 20-year masterplan every 5 years, according to South Korean news agency, Yonhap. The administration will also discourage coal power generation by banning new power plants, shut down old facilities and also not give go ahead for new nuclear reactors. However, there was no mention of what role could solar play in the scheme of things.

In 2018, coal accounted for 41.9% of the nation’s energy mix, followed by nuclear power with 23.4% and liquefied natural gas (LNG) with 26.8%, stated Yonhap.

In March 2019, energy and research consultancy Wood Mackenzie called the country’s 20% renewable energy target as ambitious. It expects South Korea to achieve 60.5 GW of total renewable energy by 2030, with solar accounting for 37.5 GW (see South Korea May Miss 2030 RE Target).