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South Korea approves new rules to promote renewable energy

Oct 18, 2010 - BBC Monitoring - South Asia

South Korea will soon introduce revised rules that will require most electric power service providers here to begin replacing an increasing part of their supplies with power generated from renewable energy sources, the government said Sunday.

"The government has completed revising all its related regulations and decrees on the development, use and distribution of renewable energy to introduce a new Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)," the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a press release.

According to the ministry, the RPS requires all electric power companies generating and selling more than 500 megawatts of electricity per hour to gradually increase the proportion of their power supplies generated from renewable energy sources from 2 per cent in 2012 to 10 per cent in 2022.

The new government rules on the use of renewable energy will be announced next month and will be officially enacted from the beginning of 2012, the ministry said.

The government move to promote the use of renewable energy also calls for aggressive steps from consumers.

Starting next year, all government and state-run enterprise buildings with an office space of 1,000 square meters or larger must use renewable energy sources for at least 10 per cent of all of their energy needs. The rate increases to 20 per cent in 2020, according to the ministry.

"With the introduction of RPS, a new market of 49 trillion won (US$42.2 billion) for renewable energy will be created by 2022," it said.

The move comes as the government is working to increase the country's use of renewable energy from the current 1 per cent of all energy consumption to more than 20 per cent by 2020.

To this end, the country is planning to build 1,000 five-megawatt wind turbines in the Yellow Sea by 2019, creating up to 5 gigawatts of electricity per hour, equivalent to the amount of electricity generated by four nuclear reactors, according to ministry officials.

The government also has plans to build 11 nuclear reactors by 2030 to increase the proportion of nuclear power to nearly 30 per cent of all energy supplies from the current 14 per cent, they said.

South Korea currently has 20 nuclear reactors in operation and is building eight new reactors.

Source: Yonhap news agency, Seoul, in English 0201 gmt 19 Sep 10


Updated: 2003/07/28