South Korea

Wind Energy in Korea

korea.jpgThe Republic of Korea installed approximately 115 MW of wind power capacity in 2016. Installations in 2016 increased by 14% over 2015, with an estimated cumulative total of 967 MW. Domestic manufacturers supplied more than 70% of the installed wind turbines in 2016.

In 2012, Korea enacted a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to support renewable energy. The required rate of RPS in 2016 was 3.5%, which was achieved in the fifth year. Aggressive investments by the government and the RPS are expected to accelerate the growth of wind energy in Korea.

A nine-year plan for a 2.5-GW offshore wind farm on the country’s west coast was announced in 2010; the plan has been postponed for several years, but the first stage of the project is in progress—construction of 60-MW wind farms.

Since 2009, the Korean government has supported local component manufacturers within the supply chain and increased the R&D budget to develop core technologies for wind power.

Policies Supporting Development

The government subsidies for installing New and Renewable Energy (NRE) facilities increase deployment and unburden the end user. Special focus has been placed on school buildings, warehouses, industrial complexes, highway facilities, factories, and electric power plants. Up to 50% of the wind power installation cost is compensated by the government, especially for demonstration projects and for private use.

Green energy requirements apply to any new construction, expansion, or remodel of public buildings with a floor area exceeding 1,000 m2. Here public buildings are required to fulfill more than 10% of their total energy use with renewable energy.

The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) for wind energy had a flat rate of 0.1 USD/kWh (0.095 EUR/kWh) for 15 years. Recently, however, the standard price is adjusted annually, reflecting the change of the NRE market and economic feasibility of NRE. Korean wind farms installed before 2011 received FITs, and wind farms constructed since 2012 are supported with RPS.

With the RPS, major electric power suppliers are required to use renewable energy (including wind power) to provide a certain amount of their electric power. The RPS was enacted in 2012 with a target rate of 3.5% of electric power and is applied to electric power suppliers providing more than 500 MW. The target rate will increase to 10% in 2024. This regulation compels power suppliers to invest in wind energy deployment. New installation has doubled since the RPS was implemented in 2012.

National Objectives

Korea is focusing on wind energy to replace fossil fuels and nuclear energy. The government continues to increase the R&D budget to support wind turbine and component manufacturers as they develop their own technologies and products.

Renewable Energy Targets

Korea set a target to replace 9.7% of the nation’s total energy consumption with renewable energy by 2030. Currently, a significant portion of the country’s renewable energy production is biomass.

The government aims to reduce the dependency on the biomass by focusing on solar PV and wind energy. A secondary goal is to increase wind energy technology and become an industry leader.