South Korea finalizes energy plan to boost renewable power generation

FILE PHOTO - A wind turbine is seen over the panels of a solar power plant of Korea South East Power Co. (KOSEP) in Incheon, South Korea, September 30, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea has finalised a power supply plan that aims to make renewables the country’s fuel of choice for power generation for the next 15 years, its energy ministry said on Friday.

The plan is largely unchanged from a draft released earlier this month that outlined the gradual reduction in use of coal and nuclear fuel as the usage of gas and renewables for power generation increased over 2017-2031.

“We plan to carry out the country’s energy policy shift smoothly based on the outline of the plan,” the ministry said in a statement.

South Korea plans to meet 20 percent of its total electricity consumption with renewables by 2030.

To achieve that goal, Asia’s fourth-largest economy aims to increase its installed capacity of renewable power to 58.5 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, from 11.3 GW this year.

Last week, the energy ministry said the plan called for adding 30.8 GW of solar power generating capacity and 16.5 GW of wind power capacity.

South Korea now generates more than 70 percent of its power from coal and nuclear, while renewables account for 6 percent.

Under the plan, coal’s share of power generation will fall to 36.1 percent in 2030 and nuclear to 23.9 percent, but the sectors will still make up more than half of the country’s total power generation at the end of the next decade.

Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Tom Hogue