Wind Energy in South Korea
2021 wind energy numbers
Having installed 64 MW capacity of wind turbines in 2021, the accumulated capacity in Korea reached 1713 MW at the end of 2021.
In 2017, the renewable energy target was raised to 20% of the electricity generation by 2030. In October 2020, it was announced that the Republic of Korea aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The wind energy sector in Korea, which has shown slower deployment than photovoltaics, is preparing for the large-scale installation of wind energy, especially in offshore wind, for the energy transition.
To learn more about wind energy in Korea, please review their chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2021 Annual Report.
At the end of 2017, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) announced the “Renewable Energy 2030 Implementation Plan,” which states the national renewable energy target, and its implementation plans towards 2030. The national objective is 20% renewable energy generation of the national electricity demand by 2030.
According to that plan, a 63.8 GW renewable capacity is required to meet the target of 20% of national electricity demand, by 2030. Among various renewable energy sources, PV and wind will lead the capacity. PV accounts for 36.5 GW (57%) and wind for 17.7 GW (28%) capacity by 2030.
The Renewable energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) is the main policy to support wind energy development, which is basically a technology-neutral, market-based system. In the RPS system, there are multiplying factors to adjust the amount of renewable electricity generated from each technology, which varies from 0.25 to 3.8 (excluding ESS applications). For onshore wind, the factor is from 1.0 to 1.3 depending on the type of project (e.g., how many local communities were involved in the project). Among various renewable energy sources, offshore wind has the biggest factor, from 2.0 to 3.8, which means that the government strongly drives the deployment of offshore wind within the country. It is expected that the country is going to deploy about 12 GW of new offshore wind capacity by 2030.
Progress & Operational Details
64 MW wind turbine capacity was installed in 2021—less than half of the amount newly installed in the previous year. Five wind farms with 18 wind turbines will be installed in 2021, and all of them are land-based projects. The average capacity of one single WTG installed in 2021 was 3.53 MW, ranging from 1.65 to 4.5 MW for each.
The total installed wind capacity in the country reached 1,713 MW by the end of 2021—a 3.9% increase from the previous year. There are 109 wind farms with 759 WTGs in total. Private companies owned 56.8% (966 MW) of total installed capacity, 35.8% by national utilities, and 7.4% by others (e.g., research institutes). In 2021, the electricity generated from wind power was 3.163 TWh (provisional) which accounted for 0.6% of the national electricity demand (537.014 TWh, provisional).
According to the Electricity Business License (EBL) by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, a total of 13,595MW offshore wind projects have received the EBL at 54 locations at the end of 2021. This number of sites increased by 64% compared to 33 areas of the previous year.
National RDD Priorities and Budget
In Korea, one of the RD&D priorities has been the development of wind turbine generators and their major components for the value chain of the wind industry. Also, the development of smart O&M strategies and technologies for the reduction of LCOE was important—especially in the offshore sector.
Recently the topics of social acceptance and safety issues have been emphasised. Also, RD&D activities regarding the deployment of wind farms and the reduction of LCOE will be continued.