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South Korea’s New Aim: Bring Renewables From 6.5% To 21% Of Electricity By 2030

South Korea is increasing its commitment to cleantech — specifically, in this case, renewable energy — with new plans for the next 13 or 14 years.

South Korea is increasing its commitment to cleantech — specifically, in this case, renewable energy — with new plans for the next 13 or 14 years.

The country, which is the 10th largest economy by some accounts and 14th largest by others, intends to nearly quadruple its electricity capacity in that period of time — from 20.1 gigawatts (GW) today to 77.8 GW by 2034.

Also, instead of the previous plan to reach 29.9 GW of solar and wind power in 2025, the plan is now to reach 42.7 GW by that time.

Whereas renewable energy accounted for 6.5% of South Korea’s electricity generation in 2019, it is supposed to supply 20.8% of the country’s electricity by 2030. Unfortunately, the expectation is that coal will still supply 29.9% of electricity and LNG 25%.

In terms of power capacity, the first thing to note is that overall power capacity is expected to grow from 120.5 GW to 185.3 GW.

In 2034, the forecasted power capacity split is:

  • renewables — 41.9%
  • LNG — 31.8%
  • coal — 15.6%
  • nuclear — 10.4%

That is after approximately 30 coal power plants are shut down, but that sounds better than it is, because coal power capacity is only expected to drop from 35.8 GW to 29 GW in 2034. Nuclear power capacity, meanwhile, is expected to drop from 23.3 GW to 19.4 GW. Further, “The Shin Hanul plants No. 3 and No. 4, whose construction is on hold due to the administration’s nuclear phaseout policy, have been excluded from the plan,” The Korea Herald reports.

A full plan is going to be revealed on December 24 at a public hearing, and there will be a policy review on December 28.

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Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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