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Wind Energy in South Korea

2020 wind energy numbers

Having installed 191 MW capacity of wind turbines in 2019 and 160 MW in 2020, the accumulated capacity in Korea reached 1650 MW at the end of 2020. A 60 MW offshore windfarm was constructed in 2020 resulting in 132 MW offshore wind power capacity in Korea. In 2017, the renewable energy target was raised to 20% of the electricity generation by 2030. In October 2020, president Moon Jae-in announced that Republic of Korea aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The wind energy sector in Korea, which has shown slower deployment than the photovoltaics, is preparing 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 2020 Annual Report.

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Megawatt

Total wind power capacity is 1,650 MW.
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Megawatt

Wind power capacity in South Korea increased by 160 MW in 2020.
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Terawatt-time

South Korea produces 2.76 TWh from wind energy, which accounts for 0.6% of the country’s electricity consumption.

National Targets

At the end of 2017, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced the “Renewable Energy 2030 Implementation Plan” which states the national renewable energy targets 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, 63.8 GW renewable capacity is required 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. It is expected that the country is going to deploy about 12 GW of new offshore wind capacity by 2030.

In October 2020, president Moon Jae-in announced that Republic of Korea aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Under the Green New Deal, president Moon pledged to replace coal-fired power generation with renewable energy over the next decades.

Progress & Operational Details

160 MW wind turbine capacity was installed in 2020—16% less than the amount newly installed in the previous year. Five wind farms were commissioned in 2020, one of them was an offshore wind farm and the other four were land-based. The offshore wind farm “Seonamhae”, which means southwest sea offshore wind farm, is a demonstrative project with the size of 60 MW and further offshore developments are in progress. Land-based projects varied in size from 5 to 12 WTGs. The average capacity of one single WTG installed in 2020 was 2.81 MW, ranging from 1.65 to 4.5 MW for each.

The total installed wind capacity in the country reached 1,650 MW by the end of 2020—a 11% increase from the previous year. There are 108 wind farms with 741 WTGs in total. Private companies owned 56.2% (921 MW) of total installed capacity, 36.1% by national utilities and 7.7% by others (e.g., research institutes). In 2019, the electricity generated from wind power was 3.133(provisional) which accounted for 0.6% of the national electricity demand (515.987 TWh, provisional).

National RDD Priorities and Budget

In Korea, one of the R,D&D priorities has been the development of wind turbine generators and its major components for the value chain of 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 are being emphasized. Also R,D&D activities about the deployment of wind farms and the reduction of LCOE will be continued.

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