Korean Republic gathers to enhance cooperation amid growing emerging uncertainties

In 2016 South Korea’s government unveiled a plan to invest approximately 42 trillion won ($36.6 billion USD) in developing renewable energy industries, such as solar and wind power and eco-friendly power plants, by 2020.

Under the plan, new renewable power stations will be built to produce 13 million kilowatts of electricity annually, which is equivalent to that of 26 coal plants in the country — according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).

At the beginning of 2017, Korean energy leaders gathered at the World Energy Council’s Korean member committee’s ‘Energy Industry New Year Meeting’, to enhance their cooperation for overcoming emerging uncertainties impacting business, by increasing investment.

Mr Joo Hyung-hwan, highlighted at the meeting the importance of transforming energy producing systems into eco-friendly energy supplies.

He added: “The government will accelerate regulation improvement and support to create new types of businesses that commercialise green and novel technologies”, adding, “The industry must be proactive on extending its business abroad on the basis of the know-how it has accumulated over the years”.

Participants at the event also expressed growing concern over increasing uncertainty regarding the state of global politics and policy environment as well as uncertainties about plans for the US to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, and international oil price volatility.

Despite the concern, the leaders from public authorities and various energy sectors including petroleum, gas and technology, promised to move alongside the national government’s energy policy, agreeing that there is a need for increasing investment to adapt a new energy era.

Minister Joo Hyung-hwan, of MOTIE said at a meeting of the future energy strategy committee in 2016 that some 33 trillion won will be spent on the development of renewable energy resources in the next five years, with 4.5 trillion won to be invested in energy storage systems and another 2 trillion won in eco-friendly power plants.

The government raised the required ratio of renewable energy generation to 5.0 percent by 2018 and 7.0 percent by 2020, expecting the new energy sectors to create about 30,000 jobs by 2020.

Nearly  150 energy leaders from government, public authorities, reserach institutions and different sectors of the energy industry, including: David Kim, Chair of the World Energy Council;Nasser Damesheq Al- Mahasher, CEO of S-OIL; Jae Hoon Lee, CEO of Korea Gas Corporation , gathered at the event, hosted by  the Chairman of the Council’s Korean committee, Park Jongkeun.