South Korea to increase renewable energy use to 20%

South Korea plans to build new solar and wind power plants to boost use of renewable energy by 2030. File Photo by UPI/Stephen Shaver

SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 20 (UPI) — South Korea plans to inject $101 billion dollars to scale up renewable energy generation in the country.

The trade ministry on Wednesday released an action plan to increase the country’s dependency on clean energy from 7 percent last year to 20 percent by 2030.

The government will build additional facilities to generate a combined 48.7 gigawatts of renewable energy, which is the equivalent of electricity produced by 35 nuclear reactors. This would bring the total output of clean energy to 63.8 gigawatts.

More than 60 percent of the new facilities will generate solar power while 34 percent will produce wind energy, mostly in coastal areas.

By building extra generators, the government also aims to overcome unfavorable weather conditions that cause inconsistent levels of energy output.

The country currently produces 5.7 gigawatts of solar power and 1.2 gigawatts from wind power.

The government will also seek to ease regulations on building solar plants in reclaimed lands and farms, and require power companies to purchase energy produced by farmers, agricultural co-ops and individual businesses for 20 years.

To encourage public participation, the state-owned energy corporation will buy residual solar energy from households.

The latest plan is part of the Moon administration’s agenda to phase out the use of coal and nuclear energy.

South Korea currently operates 24 nuclear reactors that generate one-third of the country’s electricity, while coal energy provides 37.5 percent.


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