South Korea plans 42 trillion won ($36.65 billion) in investment in renewable energy and related infrastructure by 2020 as part of efforts to meet its pledge at last year’s Paris climate summit to cut greenhouse emissions.
Of the total, 30 trillion won will be spent by state utilities on solar and wind power generation with a combined 13 gigawatts of capacity by 2020 – equivalent to twenty-six 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants, the country’s energy ministry said in a statement embargoed for release on Tuesday.
The investment plan also calls for 12 trillion won in upgrades to power transmission and energy storage systems.
South Korea is the world’s fifth-largest crude oil importer and second-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyer.
“We are planning to foster the country’s new and renewable energy sectors through easing regulations and support,” Chae Hee-bong, deputy minister of energy and resources policies, said at a briefing on Monday. He said the government expects the sectors to generate $20.7 billion in exports and 120,000 jobs by 2020.
Last year after the Paris meetings, South Korea set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent by 2030 from current levels.
South Korea said it aims to generate 7 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020, up from its previous target of 6 percent.
As part of the plan, the government will gradually allow private sector operators to supply electricity directly to consumers.