Renewables exceed nuclear in Korea’s energy capacity, may change after nuclear joins taxonomy

2022.09.20 14:40:36

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Renewable energy source facilities– mostly solar panels – took up more than 20 percent of South Korean power generating capacity for this year, greater than 17.3 percent from nuclear reactors, but the energy source mix may change under the new government intent to fully utilize nuclear power

According to data from Korea Power Exchange on Tuesday, the power capacity of renewable energy reached 27,103 megawatt (MW) as of September, accounting for 20.1 percent of entire capacity. The share quadruples 5 percent a decade ago and higher than 19.8 percent in July.

Solar power accounted for 15.1 percent of renewable energy with 20,305 MW, followed by water, bio, and wind powers with each 1.3 percent.

Of entire energy capacity, liquefied natural gas (LNG) took up the largest share of 30.8 percent, followed by coal 27.2 percent. Nuclear reactor capacity stopped at 17.3 percent.

Solar power facilities expanded 18 times to take up 15.1 percent from 0.8 percent.

Reactor capacity dropped to 17.3 percent from 25.3 percent amid phase-out policy under the previous administration.

Despite sharp expansion in capacity, contribution to power did not increase that much.

Korea Power Exchange data showed that generation from renewable energy reached 4,581 gigawatt hour (GWh) in July, accounting for only 8.3 percent of entire 55,018 GWh. Nuclear energy generation took up 27.9 percent, coal 35.8 percent, and gas 26.9 percent.

Energy infrastructure mix will slightly change under the government of Yoon Suk-yeol presidency out to fully restore reactor capacity.

According to plans announced by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in August, the government will expand nuclear energy to 32.8 percent of total in 2030 while maintain renewable energy at 221.5 percent. The figures are 8.9 percentage points higher for nuclear energy and 8.7 percentage points lower for renewable compared with the previous Moon Jae-in administration.

The Environment Ministry announced Tuesday it will include nuclear energy in the Korean taxonomy to formally give it a green label for sustainable activities and investment.

By Pulse

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