SEOUL, May 8 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea on Friday announced a long-term energy plan to spur a shift toward renewable power sources away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
The draft plan for the nation’s ninth basic energy policy for the years 2020-2034 calls for raising the share of renewable energy out of its power generation to 40 percent by 2034 from the current 15.1 percent.
Power plants fired by liquefied natural gas (LNG) will take up 31 percent of the total from the present 32.3 percent.
Drawn up by a working group under the energy ministry, the plan also stipulates the closing of all coal-fired power plants whose 30-year operational life cycles expire by 2034.
In order to make up for an electricity shortage that will result from the planned closures, the government will convert 24 of them to stations that run on LNG.
Currently, South Korea has 60 coal-powered plants, half of which will see their life cycles come due by 2034.
Coal-fired thermal power accounts for nearly 27 percent of the country’s electricity output portfolio. The proportion will be lowered to about 15 percent by 2034.
The working group expected the planned closure of coal-fired power plants to help reduce South Korea’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the plan, the number of nuclear power stations will peak at 26 in 2024 before falling to 17 in 2034.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy presently operates 24 nuclear reactors that generate about nearly 19 percent of its electricity. The ratio will be reduced to some 10 percent by 2034.
The draft plan estimates that South Korea’s maximum power demand would reach 104.2 gigawatt (GW) in 2034, with its annualized growth rate coming to 1 percent.