South Korea - Country Commercial Guide
Energy: New and Renewable

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-09-20

ITA CODE: PR REQ

Overview

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (est.)

Total Market Size

5,976

7,204

7,806

8,607

Total Local Production

8,441

8,968

9,723

10,776

Total Exports

3,816

3,145

3,453

3,893

Total Imports

1,351

1,381

1,536

1,724

Imports from the U.S.

NA

NA

NA

NA

Korean Government Investment Plan

636

862

955

989

Exchange Rate: 1 USD

1,131

1,110

1,165

1,196

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports), Imports from U.S.: NA, Unit: $millions.
Sources: Korea Energy Agency (KEA), and other industry sources.
Note:
The above statistics are unofficial estimates by Commercial Service Korea, based on above information sources.

South Korea retains industries that are considered highly energy intensive, with imported energy sources meeting almost 96 percent of its energy requirements, as the country lacks sufficient natural resources. In 2019, 562,239 gigawatt hours of electricity power was generated in South Korea, with coal representing approximately 40 percent of the total electricity generation. South Korea’s CO2 emissions from fuel combustion – million tons of CO2 – was 600 in 2017, compared to 432 in 2000 (International Energy Agency (IEA) CO2 Emissions Statistics).

In terms of deployment, the supply of new and renewable energy was 7.5 million TOE for 2011 and 17.8 million TOE in 2018 respectively, with a 2011-2018 CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 13%.   

New and Renewable Energy Supply (TOE thousands)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

7,583

8,851

9,879

11,537

13,293

14,178

16,448

17,838

Source: Korea Energy Agency (KEA)

South Korea has taken measures to expand the deployment of new and renewable energy.  State-owned power generation companies (GENCOs) and independent power producers (IPPs) that generate over 500MW are required to include a certain percentage of renewable energy in their production portfolio.

Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) ratio (%)

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2%

2.5%

3%

3%

3.5%

4%

5%

6%

7%

8%

9%

10%

 Source: Korea Energy Agency (KEA)

As of 2020, there are 22 companies that are applicable to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) ratio (%) mandate and thereby required to include a certain percentage of new and renewable energy in their power production portfolio.

· Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP)

· Korea Southern Power (KOSPO)

· Korea Midland Power (KOMIPO)

· Korea Western Power (WP)

· Korea East-West Power (EWP)

· Korea South-East Power (KOEN, formerly KOSEP)

· Korea District Heating Corporation

· K-water

· SK E&S

· GS EPS

· GS Power

· POSCO Energy

· CGN Yulchon Generation

· Pyeongtaek Energy Service

· Daeryun Power

· S-Power

· Pocheon Power

· Dongducheon Dream Power

· Paju Energy Service

· GS Donghae Electric Power

· Pocheon IPP

· SPPC

According to the Renewable Energy 3020 Plan, as per energy targets in terms of electricity generation, renewable energy sources would account for approximately 20% by 2030.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Fuel Cells – With ROKG policy support, this industry is forecast to grow moving forward. The deployment and supply of fuel cells has increased and has a 2013-2017 CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 17.2%. 

Fuel Cell Supply Status (TOE)

Year

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Fuel cell

199,369

230,173

241,616

313,303

376,304

Source: Korea Energy Agency (KEA)

To date, South Korea has facilitated and deployed molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) and phosphoric-acid fuel cells (PAFC) type technologies, and further anticipates installing solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology for industrial and commercial applications. As part of the hydrogen economy roadmap, Korea seeks to further accelerate the deployment of fuel cells for power applications:

Hydrogen Economy Roadmap (Power Application)

2018 (307 MW)    2022 (1.5 GW)    2040 (15 GW)

Source: Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE)

Photovoltaic and Wind – Since the introduction of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in 2012, solar (photovoltaic) and wind power production have gradually increased. As an initiative to meet renewable energy targets stipulated in the 8th Basic Plan for Long-term Electricity Supply and Demand, Korea endeavors in adding 30.8 GW of solar generation capacity and 16.5 GW wind power capacity by year 2030.  

Solar (Photovoltaic) and Wind Supply Status (TOE)

Year

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Solar (photovoltaic)

344,451

547,430

849,379

1,092,832

1,516,343

1,977,148

Wind

242,354

241,847

283,455

355,340

462,162

525,188

Source: Korea Energy Agency (KEA)

Demand Response (DR) – Although not applicable to South Korea’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) quota, Demand Response (DR) has grown substantially since its inception in 2014. Also known as the ‘Negawatt’ market, electricity users such as industrial factories, commercial buildings, etc., can save electricity during a specified timeframe and be compensated for saving electricity. According to the Korea Power Exchange (KPX), as of December 2019, there were over approximately 28 qualified Demand Response (DR) service providers in South Korea:

Since its inception in November 2014, the number of Demand Response (DR) consumers or participants has increased, with diverse industrial sector represented. As of July 2019, approximately 1,257GWh of electricity power was saved through the DR program.

Opportunities

As of 2019, Korea Electric Power Corporation’s (KEPCO) wholly owned power generation subsidiaries, collectively referred to as the GENCOs, sustained approximately 73 percent of the nation’s electric power generation, while local Independent Power Producers (IPPs) accounted for 27 percent. The Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) is the state-owned power company and is responsible for the nation’s transmission and distribution. The GENCOs are one of the primary end-users of NRE products and services. The trend of shifting the power source to NRE will continue under the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements.

The six GENCOs are:

Independent Power Producers (IPPs) include, but are not limited to:

As end-users, the GENCOs and the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) exert strong influence in choosing what NRE core parts to use.

Resources

 

Trade Shows

Korea Energy Show 2020 (October 21-23, 2020)

Energy Plus 2020 (October 21-23, 2020)
http://www.energyplus.kr

 

Key Contacts

Korea Energy Agency (KEA): http://www.energy.or.kr

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE): www.motie.go.kr

 

Local Contact

Seuk Bong (S.B.) SHIN (Mr.)
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service Korea
U.S. Embassy
188, Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu
Seoul 03141, Korea
Tel: +82-2-397-4186
sb.shin@trade.gov
https://www.trade.gov/southkorea