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Korea to expand renewable energy’s role in power supply

Korea’s dependency rate on renewable energy sources in total electricity supply is likely to rise to 12 percent by 2027, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy seid on Thursday.

In the first National Energy Basic Plan for 2008 to 2030, the energy policy master plan, the portion of electricity from renewable energy sources to the total supply by 2027 was put at 7 percent.

The new target for renewable energy sources came in a draft of the 6th Basic Plan for Long-Term Electricity Supply and Demand for 2013 to 2027. This plan is updated by the ministry biannually for the nation’s long-term electricity-related policy direction, and the ministry will finalize the draft by next week at the latest following a public hearing and a review by the electricity policy committee.

According to the draft of the sixth, the ministry will increase the total electricity generation capacity to 130 million kilowatts by 2027, a 20- to 30-kilowatt increase from the previous plan, to iron out an electricity shortage issue.

To achieve the electricity supply goal, the sixth biannual plan will seek to lift dependency not only on renewable energy, but also on thermal power plants, while leaving blank the dependency on nuclear power plants. Currently, nuclear power plants generate about 30 percent of the nation’s electricity supply and the next plan is supposed to increase the share of nuclear power.

“We delayed a decision on whether or not to increase nuclear power plants until the second National Energy Basic Plan to be released around August this year,” an MKE official said.

Industry watchers forecast the new government is unlikely to seek building more nuclear power plants as the presidential transition team has claimed it is most important to ensure nuclear power plant safety.

On the other hand, the sixth biannual plan has also set the electricity demand target at 111 million kilowatts by 2027 and kept the rate of reserves at 22 percent of the total electricity demand. It added the ministry will develop a variety of measures to curb electricity demand and therefore cut 12 percent of the target demand by 2027.

By Seo Jee-yeon  (