South Korea’s freshly inaugurated President Moon Jae-in is expected to push forward renewable energy policies to tackle concerns over pollution and the safety of nuclear energy.
On Moon’s campaign website, titled “Moon’s 1st Street,” his pledges related to energy have garnered 284,080 likes to date, topping many other promises by the camp.
Moon is likely to scale down coal and nuclear power dependency as pledged during his campaign. His camp had said the government would no longer build nuclear reactors and thermal power plants.
President Moon Jae-in takes the oath of office during his inauguration ceremony at the National Assembly in Seoul on May 10, 2017. (Yonhap)
He also promised to shut down the Wolsong No. 1 nuclear reactor and scrap a construction plan to build the Shin Kori No. 5 and No. 6 nuclear reactors.
While curbing the nation’s reliance on coal and nuclear energy, Moon will likely boost the shift toward renewable energy, which currently accounts for just 1.1 percent of the nation’s total electric generation.
Korea currently gets 43.3 percent of its electricity from coal, 37.5 percent from nuclear and 13.6 percent from natural gas.
Moon said he would aim to raise the proportion of electricity generated from renewable energy from 1.1 percent to 20 percent by 2030 -- nearly double the target of 11.7 percent proposed by the previous government.
However, there are limited details on the actual changes. Plans will take shape at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, which releases its eighth annual report later this year.
Moon had also pledged to boost new registrations of electric cars as a measure to reduce air pollution, while aiming to ban diesel vehicle registrations by 2030.
As of 2015, the market share of electric cars was 0.2 percent nationwide, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest report.
By Shim Woo-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)