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South Korea Looks at How to Accelerate its Transition to Renewable Energy

South Korea Looks at How to Accelerate its Transition to Renewable Energy
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An evening market in South Korea. The nation plans to be sure that 20 % of all electrical energy generated is renewable by 2030. Credit score: Yeong-Nam/CC BY

SEOUL , Nov 1 2018 (IPS) – Whereas main nations have pledged to be powered totally by renewable energies so as to cease greenhouse fuel emissions by 2050, there are a selection of states which are investigating methods to implement this transition shortly so as to obtain their objectives forward of this deadline.

On the International Inexperienced Progress Institute (GGGI) Energy Discussion board held in South Korea’s capital, Seoul, on Oct. 30, GGGI council members, main power specialists, and coverage makers from each the personal and public sectors requested exactly that query.

They gathered to share their power transformation experiences from the UK, Norway, Japan, Denmark, and Mongolia and mentioned how South Korea can emulate them because it transitions from a coal and nuclear-centric power dependence to renewables.

How to speed up the transition to Renewable Energy?

“As there is a big global shift towards renewable energy (RE), we may ask questions: How can we accelerate the clean energy transition? Is the Korean target ambitious? How fast can it be transitional?” stated Frank Rijsberman, director-general of GGGI in his keynote speech.

Though international decarbonisation on its personal isn’t satisfactory to meet the ambitions of the Paris Settlement, the discussion board shared renewable transition instances and experiences of how they’ve accelerated the transition to RE.

The UK is main the low-carbon transition and has carried out a drastic reduce of emissions prior to now 18 years whereas additionally persevering with its speedy financial progress. Norway constructed the world’s electrical automotive capital, and made the transition from oil to a renewable mannequin. In Denmark, Copenhagen has turn into the world’s inexperienced metropolis, because it makes use of district heating pipelines to warmth homes and goals to grow to be the world’s first carbon impartial metropolis by 2025.

Probably the most drastic turnaround comes from South Korea and Japan, which have been among the many world’s main producers of nuclear energy prior to now. However each nations have joined the worldwide renewable power transition membership in recent times.

100 % Renewables South Korea

The discussion board heard from Hans-Josef Fell, president of Energy Watch Group, an unbiased international community of scientists and parliamentarians that was based in 2006 underneath the path of Fell whereas he was nonetheless a member of the German parliament. “It is possible to be 100 percent renewable and we can work together with South Korea to reach the 100 percent goal,” he informed individuals.

Fell forecast that Photo voltaic photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy would be the least expensive power in G20 states by 2030, noting that RE has created 10.three million jobs worldwide in 2017, with most jobs being in Asia.

The renewable breakdown of the worldwide power system in 2050 is forecast as:
• Photo voltaic PV: 69 %,
• Wind energy: 18 %,
• Hydro: eight %,
• and bioenergy: 20 %.

Fell additionally famous political will must be robust sufficient to absolutely embrace the RE transition, as he instructed the necessity for direct personal funding in RE and zero-emission know-how, for tenders to be granted just for capability above 40MW, and the necessity to part out all state subsidies on fossil fuels.

Japan transitions to PV

Japan is among the nations that has proven the desire to embrace RE. After committing to decreasing its dependence on nuclear power by 2030, Japan has set targets for turning into an economically unbiased and carbon-free mainstream energy by 2050. Japan has lowered its nuclear energy era following the Fukushima nuclear energy plant explosion in 2011.

Izumi Kaizuka, Director of RTS Company, a PV consulting firm, who introduced on the RE coverage transition in Japan and the present standing and outlook of the nation’s PV market, stated: “There has been an explosive growth of approved PV projects.”

However Japan has considerations concerning the future burden of surcharges, set up high quality, environmental injury from pure disasters, and the shortage of internet hosting capability.

“There is a significant cost gap of the PV system between domestic and overseas [prices]. Prices are further decreasing due to global competition. Some emphasise the importance of how installation costs in Japan (not under global competition) will be further reduced,” Kaizuka stated.

Japan has tried to handle these considerations and launched a brand new approval system to cope with delayed or unrealistic tasks, to improve transparency for grid connections with disclosure of connection capability and the worth of labor, in addition to the exemption of surcharge for power sufficiency efforts.

With these actions taken, Kaizuka had a robust progress forecast for PV-installed capability in Japan. “Despite these concerns, PV is growing, since PV is stable and affordable,” Kaizuka stated.

South Korea to transfer from coal-nuclear to renewables

Beneath its Renewable Energy 2030 Implementation Plan to obtain a 20 % objective of renewable share of complete electrical energy era by 2030, South Korea is investing in clear power.

This can be a drastic reversal of the nation’s earlier nuclear-centric power coverage. In 2016, 25 reactors generated one-third of the nation’s electrical energy and made South Korea the world’s fifth-largest producer of nuclear power, in accordance to the World Nuclear Affiliation.

To reverse its power combine, Seoul is driving a renewable growth beneath a private-public partnership.

“Active private investment is supporting the renewable energy transition. More than 95 percent of new capacity is PV and wind, which creates the largest number of jobs,” stated Kyong-Ho Lee, Director of the New and Renewable Energy Coverage Division, at South Korea’s Ministry of Commerce, Business and Energy (MOTIE).

The native government-led, large-scale tasks, the place native governments play a key position in choosing websites and selecting enterprise operators, are cited as a serious driving pressure of the on-going RE transition in South Korea.

“To encourage citizen participation, the government gives monetary incentives for both urban and rural renewable energy installed, as well as state loans for rural RE installed. Thus farmers can make a double income from both farming and PV power installed,” stated Lee from MOTIE.

Seoul has stated that by 2030, out of a forecast complete 63.8GW to be put in, its RE combine can be:
• 57 % PV,
• 17.7 % wind energy,
• 5 % bio, and
• 6 % waste.

“It is a transitional moment as we continue to improve conditions through deregulation of RE, installing and collecting PV modules,” Lee stated.

In Norway, monetary incentive was robust sufficient to drive the electrical automotive growth. About 45 % of latest automobiles bought in Norway in current months have been all-electric automobiles. Individuals who purchase electrical automobiles pay no import taxes, tolls, parking or ferry prices, and are exempt from a 25 % gross sales tax at buy.

“Nationwide infrastructure is necessary to spread the EV [electric vehicle] boom from cities to rural areas,” stated Atle Hamar, Vice Minister, Ministry of Local weather and Surroundings, Norway. “In cities, there are enough charging stations but in rural areas, we need public support [to build more].”

District heating in Denmark

Denmark provides one of the best circumstances for utilizing geothermal warmth due to the nation’s well-developed district heating. In Denmark, boilers present warmth for complete districts by way of a community of heating pipes.

“We will be testing new technology to find a cost efficient and easier way of heating houses. For example, we are replacing biomass with geothermal heat pumps, which is easier to heat houses,” Jacob Rasmussen, counsellor, power & setting, Embassy of Denmark.

How quick can it go from nuclear to renewable?

These nations supply nice examples for South Korea. And whereas the discussion board usually noticed a consensus shaped on the nation’s want to transition to renewables, it debated how briskly the transition ought to be.

South Korea’s transition could also be too quick, in accordance to some specialists.

“We must respect the role of the nuclear power source [that has driven our economy as the cheapest energy source],” stated Sang-hyup Kim, visiting professor from the Korea Superior Institute of Science and Know-how and chairman of the Coalition for Our Widespread Future.

“In fact, nuclear is a reality [in South Korea] based on its [60 years of] science and technology. Why should we give it up so rapidly?”

To others, the transition could also be a bit sluggish.

“Some would say the 20 percent goal is not ambitious enough. But we should manage our satisfaction by setting a reasonable target,” stated Solar-Jin Yun, professor of environmental and power coverage at the Graduate Faculty of Environmental Research, Seoul Nationwide College (SNU).

Panelists agreed on the necessity to improve inter-Korean power cooperation to convey peace to Northeast Asia. “Increasing energy interdependence is a way to secure peace for the whole of Northeast Asia. For example, a renewable energy-based grid connecting Mongolia and both Koreas and others can be the way to increase interdependence,” stated YangYi Gained Younger, government director, Energy Transition Discussion board, a personal power think-tank.


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