Korea generated about 472 Billion Kilowatthours (BkWh) of net electricity in 2011, up by an estimated 3.9% in the previous year. Of this amount, 65% came from conventional thermal sources, 34% came from nuclear power, and roughly one percent came from renewable sources. Although thermal capacity is dominant in Korea at present, nuclear power is set to expand over the next decade, along with significant investment in offshore wind farms.
Korea holds only 139 million short tons (MMst) of recoverable coal reserves. Consumption reached 126 MMst of coal in 2010, while production was less than 3 MMst. As a result, Korea is the third largest importer of coal in the world, following only Japan and China. Australia and Indonesia account for the majority of Korea’s coal imports. Coal consumption increased by over one-third between 2005 and 2010, driven primarily by growing demand from the electric power sector. The electric power sector accounts for more than half of coal consumption, while the industrial sector accounts for most of the remainder.
Meanwhile, Korea has announced that it will spend 40 trillion won by 2015 in a combined investment by the public (7 trillion won) and private sector (33 trillion won) to cultivate renewable energy resources, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said. In this way, the country will be able to become one of the world’s top five powers in renewable energy, the ministry added.
In particular, the government aims to nurture solar energy and wind power industries as the “next semiconductor” and the “next shipbuilding” industries to take up 15% of the global market share by 2015. In the private sector, 20 trillion won will be injected in solar energy, 10 trillion won in wind power, 900 billion won in fuel cells and 900 billion won in bio.
The ministry estimated such investments will generate 110,000 new jobs and increase exports of renewable energy by US$36.2 billion by 2015. The size of the global renewable energy market stood at US$162 billion in 2009, and is expected to grow to US$400 billion by 2015 and to US$1 trillion by 2020.
For full report see EUCCK Infomag.