The tiny nation of South Korea — renowned for its Kimchi, K-pop, and K-dramas — is set to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm!
As part of its long-term plan to become a carbon-neutral nation by 2050, South Korea has announced its AUD$56 billion plans to build the 8.2 gigawatts (GW) wind farm off the coast of Sinan in the Yellow Sea.
The massive renewable energy project, set to be completed by 2030, will provide up to 5,600 jobs and boost the nation’s wind capacity to 8.2GW — the same amount of energy produced by six nuclear reactors!
“With this project, we are accelerating the eco-friendly energy transition and moving more vigorously toward carbon neutrality,”said President Moon Jae-in on the announcement of the new wind farm.
This is such a positive step in the right direction for South Korea to reduce its emissions and fight climate change! Let’s take a look at how this announcement plays into the global transition to renewable energy.
Why do we need Renewable Energy?
Transitioning away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydropower) is critical in the fight against climate change!
We’ve seen a massive shift recently — more countries are committing to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and to do this, they’re announcing bold plans to boost renewable electricity capacity and phase out fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas).
What Are Green New Deals?
Many global governments are developing their own version of a ‘Green New Deal’, which is basically a roadmap to build a clean, green economy, reduce emissions and create sustainable jobs. Through Green New Deals and clear, effective climate policies — the market is given the green light to invest in and build new solar, wind, hydro and battery storage projects.
By increasing the share of electricity that comes from renewables, countries are able to sharply reduce their electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions (which is usually the biggest source of emissions!). Take a look here to see how other countries are investing in ways to reduce their emissions.
South Korea’s Green New Deal
In October of 2020, President Moon Jae-in announced South Korea’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Part of achieving this commitment is outlined in its Green New Deal; the Covid-19 recovery plan that will accelerate the transition to renewable energy and more green infrastructure.
Around US$61.9 billion will be invested by the treasury, local governments and the private sector to create 319,000 jobs by 2022 and 659,000 jobs by 2025! These jobs will be created through new solar and wind farms, innovative technologies and “microgrid communities” — which will create decentralised renewable energy and storage solutions in regional areas.
South Korea Has A Lot Of Work To Do
They’ve got big plans for electric vehicles (EVs), too — setting a target of 1.13 million EVs on Korean roads plus 15,000-30,000 EV charging stations installed by 2025!
As the world’s fourth-largest importer of coal, South Korea has a big job ahead of them. To meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, South Korea must phase out all coal-power by 2029. But, with its clear plans to become “one of the world’s top five offshore wind energy powerhouses by 2030”, we definitely think South Korea is on the right track!
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