[Press Release] South Korean government must stop restricting renewable energy growth  2023-01-13

South Korean government must stop restricting renewable energy growth 

 

The 10th electricity plan, which will guide the country’s electricity policy, demotes renewables.  

 

January 13, 2023 – The South Korean government, under President Yoon Suk-yeol, has finalized its 10th electricity plan, which will guide how the country procures its electricity for the next fifteen years. The document details a much-downgraded renewable energy target from the previous 30.2% to 21.6% by 2030.  

 

The decision comes after continued calls for a higher renewable energy target in South Korea. In 2022, RE100 businesses urged the South Korean government to not backslide on its renewable energy target after it published a draft of the 10th electricity plan. 

 

South Korea currently has the second-lowest share of solar and wind generation among G20 countries. Its share of 4.7 percent is less than half of the global average of 10 percent.  

 

“The 10th electricity plan is symbolic of the Korean government’s approach toward renewables: Rigid and restrictive,” said Joojin Kim, the executive director of Seoul-based Solutions for Our Climate. “It’s a major red flag for renewable energy companies because the government is capping their potential to grow.”  

 

The electricity plan will impact which energy sources are prioritized in the country and how the government allocates resources in terms of new infrastructure or technology.  

 

Alongside a downgraded renewable target, the 10th electricity plan proposes the continued use of coal and LNG to continue at 43 percent in 2030. Even in 2036, the government plans to source almost a quarter of the country’s electricity from fossil fuels. This includes 28 new LNG power plants, worth 14.1GW, converted from coal plants.

 

However, experts recommend a 2030 coal phase-out and a 2035 gas phase-out in South Korea to align with the 1.5C pathway and avoid climate catastrophe. The International Energy Agency (IEA) also warns that advanced economies must decarbonize their electricity sector by 2035 to meet the global net-zero target.  

 

“Even Samsung Electronics, one of the country’s largest energy consumers, has recently joined RE100. A major manufacturing economy like South Korea can hugely benefit from getting cheap renewable energy,” added Kim.  

 

“This will require the government to provide the right policy incentives and market environment for affordable and clean renewables to thrive in Korea. However, the current electricity plan cannot meet the corporate renewable demand, let alone its 2030 climate target." 

 

  

ENDS.  
 

Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC) is a South Korea-based group that advocates for stronger climate policies and reforms in power regulations. SFOC is led by legal, economic, financial, and environmental experts with experience in energy and climate policy and works closely with policymakers.   

 

For media inquiries, please reach out to: 

Euijin Kim, Communications Officer, euijin.kim@forourclimate.org