Total primary energy production distribution South Korea 2021, by source
Nuclear Energy in South Korea
There are around two dozen operational nuclear reactors in Korea as of 2020 at four locations, mostly at the south-eastern coast. Korea initially planned to increase its reliance on nuclear energy, but following the Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster, the current government has announced its plans to phase out nuclear energy entirely. Nuclear power plants are significant contributors to the South Korean energy grid, accounting for over 60 percent of the total energy production in South Korea in 2020. Nuclear power had a capacity of around 23.3 gigawatts in 2020, against a national (electric) power capacity of around 129 gigawatts.
Renewable Energy in South Korea
South Korea has long-term plans to greatly increase its reliance on the so-called renewable energy sources such as photovoltaics (PV), wind energy, bioenergy, etc. This is possible in part because the cost has dropped over the past decade, while the efficiency of PV solar cells, for example, has increased. The Korean government’s stated goal is to have renewable energy sources account for 20 percent of total power generation by 2030. Over half of that capacity is planned to be from solar power, with wind power making up around a third. This would require increasing the power generation capacity of solar power from approximately 6 GW in 2017 to over 36 GW in 2030, and capacity of wind power from around one GW to nearly 18. Over 90 percent of the new capacity that would have to be introduced would be for solar power and wind power.