The South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) has revealed a draft of the 8th Basic Plan for Long-term Electricity Supply and Demand. Under the new biennial plan, which reflects environmental and safety factors in addition to stable power supply and economic efficiency, Korea will produce more power from renewable energy sources and natural gas, while gradually reducing its reliance on coal and nuclear power.
Announced by the Ministry on December 14, the Basic Plan for Long-term Electricity Supply and Demand includes the forecast for power demand over the next 15 years until 2031 and so plans for power generation facilities based on the estimate. The latest power generation blueprint projects the peak electricity demand in 2030 at 100.5 GW, down 11 percent from the forecast of 113.2 GW made in the seventh edition, which used the same methodology, as the economy is expected to grow at a slower pace than it was two years ago.
The blueprint calls for a further reduction in the expected peak demand by 12.3 percent or 14.2 GW through utilizing technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and introducing new regulations that promote energy efficiency. The target reserve margin for 2030 is set at 22 percent – there will be an excess capacity in the amount of 22 percent of peak demand – and this makes the installed capacity for the year 122.6 GW.
Additional 4.3 GW capacity needed
Power generation facilities with a combined capacity of 4.3 GW need to be newly added to existing and already planned facilities with a capacity of 118.3 GW. The new generation facilities will be liquefied natural gas (LNG) power stations and pumped-storage hydroelectric facilities.
Between 2017 and 2030, the installed capacity of renewables would increase to 58.5 GW from the current 11.3 GW with the growth mainly coming from solar and wind power. The total capacity of LNG power plants would expand to 47.5 GW from 37.4 GW, and those of coal-fired power plants grow to 39.9 GW from 36.8 GW.
Meanwhile, the installed capacity of nuclear power generation would contract to 20.4 GW from 22.5 GW as five new reactors would enter operation and 11 ageing reactors would be taken offline during the period.
Greater share of gas and renewables in the power mix
Under the new energy roadmap, natural gas and renewable energy sources will have a greater share in the generation mix in terms of installed capacity. Renewable energy would account 33.7 percent of the installed capacity in 2030 – up from 9.7 percent this year. The combined capacity of nuclear reactors and coal-fired power plants would represent around a third of the mix – down from 50.9 percent.
The government also aims to generate 20 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. The share of natural gas is expected to be 18.8 percent, while those of coal and nuclear power are 36.1 percent and 23.9 percent, respectively.
The Ministry forecasts that during the implementation of the latest plan, power supply to remain stable, while Korea would be able to cut generation of fine dust and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The amount of fine dust produced from power generation is projected to shrink 62 percent to around 13 000 tonnes in 2030 from 34 000 in 2017 thanks to new policies on coal-fired power generation including the shutdown of ageing coal-fired power plants ahead of the end of their design lifetime. Implementation of the new plan would also help cut GHG emissions down to 237 million tonnes by 2030 – below the existing target of 258 million tonnes.
The plan projects no significant factors for electricity rate hikes from energy transition toward renewable energy until 2022. Rates may rise by 10.9 percent by 2030 – a slower pace than a 13.9 percent increase in the past 13 years.
The eighth basic plan has been drafted over a year, involving around 70 experts in 43 meetings. It was submitted to the trade and energy subcommittee of the National Assembly’s Trade, Industry, Energy, SMEs, and Startups Committee on December 14. The proposed plan will undergo a public hearing on December 26 and will be confirmed after a review by the electricity policy commission.