S. Korea power plan pushes slow shift to cleaner fuels

Published 05:39 on June 8, 2015  /  Last updated at 05:39 on June 8, 2015  /  Asia Pacific, South Korea  /  Comments Off on S. Korea power plan pushes slow shift to cleaner fuels

South Korea on Monday released a draft basic power plan that proposed installing more nuclear and renewable energy and a scale-back of planned coal investment in a bid to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

South Korea on Monday released a draft basic power plan that proposed installing more nuclear and renewable energy and a scale-back of planned coal investment in a bid to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan, released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), proposed building two new nuclear power plants and increase South Korea’s installed renewables capacity fivefold by 2029.

If the plan is approved by parliament, it would take South Korea’s number of nuclear power plants at the end of next decade to 36. Currently, 23 reactors are operating, according to the Yonhap news agency.

The plan stated that ensuring a reliable power supply while reducing carbon emissions were the top priorities.

South Korea has yet to announce its GHG emissions target for the post-2020 period, but is expected to do so by the end of September.

If South Korea builds the two additional nuclear power plants, nuclear will account for 28.5% of its energy mix in 2029, up from 27.4% estimated in the previous basic power plan, adopted two years ago.

Even with a fivefold increase in renewable capacity, it would still only make up 4.6% of the mix, compared to 4.5% in the previous plan.

Meanwhile, MOTIE proposed four of Korea’s planned new coal-fired power plants should be dropped, which would reduce fossil fuel’s share of the mix to 32.2% in 2029, down from 34.7% in the former plan.

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