Energy sector in South Korea - Statistics & Facts

South Korea is the eighth largest energy-consuming country in the world. Over 300 million toe of primary energy was consumed within the country. This value continues to increase due to the manufacturing-oriented economic structure. In response, the Korean government announced the Energy Efficiency Innovation Strategy, aiming to reduce 29.6 million TOE by 2030 – 14.4 percent of current energy demand. Changes to enhance energy efficiency in each industry sector are expected to begin.

Energy supply in South Korea has been steadily increasing over the last decade. The share of nuclear and coal power in the country’s electricity production is 26 percent and 46.2 percent respectively, which exceeds 72 percent in total. As a result, the government decided to stop new nuclear plant construction and close two existing nuclear energy plants in Kori(Gori) and Wolsong. Additionally, the future energy policy is expected to replace 20 percent of the total generation by renewables by 2030.

Most of the total electricity was consumed in the industrial and building sectors. In the industrial sector, energy consumption surged, especially in the telecommunication and petrochemical sectors. In the building sector, power consumption increased due to climate change, such as cold winter and heatwaves during summer. In addition, the number of electric vehicles registered increased by 123 percent, leading to an increase in power consumption in the transportation sector. Household consumption growth is slowing down overall, however, energy consumption in the industrial sector is growing rapidly.

South Korea's energy resources are poor, consequently most of its energy depends on imports. As of 2015, the energy dependency amounted to over 80 percent of the total energy use. The net imports of energy and petroleum is the fifth largest in the world. In 2018, total crude oil imports reached 1,116,281 thousand barrels, showing a slight decrease from the previous year. The share of crude oil imported from the Middle East accounted for about 73.6 percent of total oil imports. Leading origins of crude oil imports were in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq, and imports from the United States increased by 353 percent in 2018.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 24 most important statistics relating to "Energy sector in South Korea".

South Korea's energy sector

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Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Energy sector in South Korea" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Energy consumption

Energy trade

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