- South Korean government has released a blueprint of its 9th Basic Plan for Electricity Supply and Demand 2020-2034 under which renewables are proposed to get 42% share
- This gives them the largest share, followed by 31.8% to LNG, 15.6% to coal and 10.4% to nuclear energy
- If the proposed target is adopted, renewables should grow to account for 77.8 GW total installed capacity by 2034, up from 20.1 GW now, a local newspaper report claims
Under its 9th Basic Plan for Electricity Supply and Demand 2020-2034, South Korea plans to aim for around a 42% (41.9% to be precise) share for renewable energy in its cumulative energy mix by the year 2034, according to a draft released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) recently.
A report by local newspaper The Korean Herald says this would make renewables get the largest share of the total energy mix planned with a 31.8% share of liquefied natural gas (LNG), 15.6% for coal and 10.4% for nuclear energy. By 2034, the ministry expects the country’s total power generation capacity to grow to 185.3 GW, growing from 120.5 GW at present most of which comes from coal.
By 2034, the draft says renewables will account for 77.8 GW of total installed capacity, growing from the current 20.1 GW. In 2019, coal represented 40.4% of its total energy mix, followed by LNG at 25.9% and nuclear power at 25.6%, while renewables made up only 6.5% of its total electricity production.
LNG gets prominence in the plan as the country aims to shutter 30 coal-fired power plants by 2034 that will complete their operational life, to be replaced by LNG power plants taking its total installed capacity to 59.1 GW compared to 41.3 GW now. Nonetheless, 7 newly planned coal projects currently under construction will continue to be built. By 2034, coal power capacity should account for 29 GW of the electricity mix, down from 35.8 GW in 2020. Korea, for a long time a nuclear strong hold, also tries to leave that technology behind. The number of nuclear power plants is planned to reach its peak (26) in 2024 and then drop to 17. Korea’s Moon administration does not want construction of any new nuclear plants and also banned lifetime extension of existing nuclear power plants.
The draft is up for a public hearing scheduled for December 24, 2020 and will also undergo a policy review on December 28, 2020 following which the government should adopt it as a law incorporating feedback received.
The report further adds that the government aims to install more power grids in regions where renewable energy facilities are concentrated, such as Sinan and Yeonggwang counties in South Jeolla Province, and lay out immediate plans to support solar farms that are currently unable to access power grids due to grid shortages.
In April 2019, Reuters reported the country was contemplating increasing its renewable energy share to between 30% to 35% in the total energy generation by 2040 (see South Korea Aiming For 35% RE By 2040).
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), till the end of 2019 South Korean renewable energy capacity was 4.832 GW to which solar PV’s contribution was 42 MW.