SEOUL, Sept. 29 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea will double its investment in renewable energy technology as the country seeks to harness its climate change policy as a new economic growth driver, a senior diplomat said Thursday.
“With recent low oil prices, the global energy market appears relatively stable, but actually it is in a stage of enormous change,” Lee Tae-ho, deputy minister for economic affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in his opening remarks for Global Energy Security Conference.
He was referring to the Paris Agreement signed by United Nations member states in December to commit to dramatic reductions in green house gases.
The conference is the foreign ministry’s annual event which brings together government officials, companies and experts from around the globe to discuss ways to cope with the changing energy environment.
Lee said the global energy environment is currently not in favor of the renewable energy sector with heavy supplies of shale gas and increased oil production.
“It portends to prolonged supplies of low-priced oil that could threaten the introduction of renewable energy which has relatively higher production costs,” the official said. “Under this backdrop, it is vital to secure price competitiveness of renewable energy sources by developing (related) core technologies.”
For its part, South Korea will increase its investment in 13 renewable energy technologies including solar and wind power and energy storage system to 1.1 trillion won (US$1 billion) by 2021, doubling from 560 billion won this year, Lee said.
Seoul will also be very active in harnessing its climate change response into a new economic growth driver, with an aim to create a renewable energy market worth 100 trillion won and 500,000 new jobs locally, the official also said.