South Korea’s Green New Deal to create sustainable ecosystem with offshore wind and solar PV playing pivotal roles, says GlobalData

South Korea, one of the top CO2 emitting countries in the world, proposed a ‘Green New Deal’ to help accelerate the country’s transition towards the creation of a sustainable ecosystem by attaining net-zero emissions by 2050 and mitigate the risk of climate crisis. The deal affirms South Korea’s desire to make big advancements in the renewable energy (RE) sphere, attaining at least 20% of green power generation in the mix, with solar PV power reaching more than 36GW  and wind offshore capacity reaching 12GW by 2030, says GlobalData, a leading research and analytics company.

South Korea targeted the power generation sector first for transformation to tackle the growing emissions. The power generation sector, which has over 50% share in the country’s total carbon emissions, is set for a sustainable transformation with the share of coal in the generation mix diminishing from the current 45% to around 30% by 2030 and 10% by 2050.

Ankit Mathur, Practice Head of Power at GlobalData, comments: “In the third energy master plan, by 2040, South Korea desires to have renewables shape 30-35% of the generation blend. As per GlobalData estimates, the current transition will see the country’s generation mix having 19% of the generation from renewable sources (including hydropower) by 2030, very close to the 20% target by 2030. The country would need to create a plan of retiring the coal projects and installation of renewable projects to ensure the power demand is met without any major hiccups.”

South Korea is under increased scrutiny to reduce carbon emissions and the climate advocates are proposing a complete coal phase out by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement. According to GlobalData, the current renewable (including hydropower) share in the capacity mix stands at 20%, and is likely to almost double by 2030. However, in order to faciliatate the sustainable transition, the government needs to implement an array of measures such as carbon tax, end to coal financing and focus on renewables to discourage coal usage.

Mathur concludes: “Due to the the country’s world-class marine plants and shipping construction infrastructure, there are significant opportunities in the floating offshore wind segment. International companies, in partnership with the local Korean companies and workforce, can support the government’s Green New Deal strategy by stimulating the economic growth and create employment opportunities.

“GlobalData estimates the new capacity build of 48.5GW between 2020 and 2030 will be dominated by non-carbon emitting sources with 73% share, driven majorly by solar PV and wind installations. By 2030, the expansion of the offshore wind segment is anticipated to make it the larger performer in the overall wind segment, which would complement the massively strong solar PV segment to help the nation witness the green transition.”

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