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Korea to present road map for new energy business in global conferences 

Wayne Iversen

By Wayne Iversen


August 30, 2016

Written by Mr. Woo Tae-hee, Vice Minister for Energy and Trade

Vice Minister for Energy and Trade Woo Tae-hee

Vice Minister for Energy and Trade Woo Tae-hee

Since the Paris Climate Agreement last year, Korea has been sparing no effort to take preemptive policy action to brace for a low-carbon economy.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy has been formulating policies to develop new energy businesses and putting them into practice with the aim of not only fighting climate change, but also nurturing the nation’s new growth engine.

In September, it will have a chance to present its roadmap for the new energy industry development to the world through four international energy conferences to be held in Korea.

The 2016 Global Green Growth Week, which will be held on Jejudo on Sept. 5 ~ 9, will draw global leaders from the government and business sectors to seek and identify fundamental climate change solutions. Hosted by the Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute, the GGG Week will open the floor to participants to share thoughts on expanding investments in renewables and on implementing creative and ambitious green growth policies.

During the event, the government will present its strategy for the development of renewable energy businesses. By 2020, Korea is slated to invest approximately 30 trillion won ($27.4 billion) in renewables. Furthermore, the government will raise the ratio of energy that must be supplied by renewables in the Renewable Portfolio Standard, a globally accepted tool aimed at facilitating renewable energy, by between 0.5 and 1.0 percentage points and allow unlimited grid access to small-scale investments in renewables of less than 1 megawatt.

The Asia Power Week is another premier energy conference and will be held Sept. 20-22 in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province. The event will put its focus on sharing technological know-how and success cases in new energy businesses, such as energy storage systems and micro-grids, among attendees.

During the event, the ministry will introduce its “green energy towns” project. The project is aimed at turning unwelcome and unwanted facilities into environmentally-friendly ones that generate green energy using renewables, thereby addressing two interlinked issues of environment and energy. So far, the Korean government has created a total of 19 green energy towns nationwide and is looking into ways to introduce this business model to other countries. Already, it concluded memoranda of understanding with Poland, Ethiopia, Mongolia and a few other countries and will look for more opportunities to share green energy towns with the world.

In the form of a roundtable, the Ministry and the US Department of Commerce will hold the 3rd Energy Industry Working Group on Sept. 21 in Seoul to share policies and expertise on drafting long-term plans for electricity demand. For Korea, the meeting will help attain accuracy and objectivity in forecasting electricity demand, thereby giving clearer guidelines for formulating the next Basic Plan on Long-Term Electricity Supply and Demand.

Another important conference coming in September is the District Heating and Cooling meeting, which will be held for the first time in Asia. The spotlight of this year’s DHC to be held on Sept. 5 in Seoul will highlight integrated energy, a critical tool for reducing greenhouse gases.

As a source capable of simultaneously producing and supplying heat and electricity, integrated energy can create a new kind of business that supplies various forms of energy. To fully leverage the potential of integrated energy, the Korean government announced in its latest plan for electricity supply and demand that it would consider combined heat and power, also known as cogeneration, as a form of distributed generation and supply 12.5 percent of Korea‘s total power generation capacity through distributed generation by 2029.

In preparation for a shift to a low-carbon economy, Korea stands at a critical juncture, when the government must show leadership and the business community must take the new opportunity. Only through such joint efforts can Korea succeed in pioneering the emerging new energy industry.

I sincerely hope that many interested companies, institutes and experts at home and abroad will take an active role and make great contributions to the upcoming energy conferences in Korea.