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South Korea Embarks On An Ambitious Renewable Energy Plan

South Korea's move towards renewables | Energy TransitionSouth Korea has made public a long-term energy plan that stipulates a shift to more renewable energy at the expense of fossil fuels and nuclear power.

 

The Korea Herald reports the plan envisages renewable power to rise to 40 percent of the country’s energy mix in 2034, up from 15.1 percent currently. In the meantime, the share of liquefied natural gas-fired power generation should decline from 32.3 percent to 31 percent.

 

At the same time, all coal-fired power plants whose 30-year lifecycles expire by 2034 will be retired. This makes about 30 plants, out a total of 60 currently in operation. An earlier report in Korean media said that some 24 coal-fired plants will be converted to gas.

 

The share of nuclear energy will also be reduced substantially by 2034.

 

Currently, LNG is the biggest portion of South Korea’s energy mix, followed by coal, at 27.1 percent of the total. Nuclear energy accounts for 19.2 percent of energy generation. By 2030, plans have nuclear’s share in the mix shrink to 11.7 percent, and then falling further to 9.9 percent by 2034. Also by 2030, the share of renewables should rise to 33.1 percent before hitting the 40-percent goal four years later.

 

Despite the government’s ambitious renewable energy goals, it appears its support for renewable energy source is disproportionate: a recent report from a nonprofit group suggests that South Korea is subsidizing biomass projects so heavily that it has begun to affect solar and wind.

 

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