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Korea raises renewable energy target to 30-35 percent by 2040

South Korea plans to increase the proportion of energy generated from renewable sources to as much as 35 percent of the total by 2040 in response to growing environmental concerns, the government said Friday.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced key points in the nation’s third energy master plan, to be implemented from 2019 to 2040. An energy master plan is the nation’s top-level power plan, established every five years to set forth a vision for its energy policies and strategies for their implementation. 


In the third plan, the government mentions a new goal to increase the proportion of energy generated from renewable sources to 30-35 percent by 2040, relative to all energy generated. The current proportion is 7 to 8 percent.

The new target is still less than the global average of 40 percent estimated by the International Energy Agency, but it is still an aggressive figure for the nation, which is struggling to achieve its previously stated goal of 20 percent by 2030.

The government had narrowed down the target range since November, when it heard recommendations from a working group that comprises professionals in the private sector. The panel had suggested a target range of 25 to 40 percent.

“This energy shift goal is set given the level of technology development, resident acceptability and possibilities of environmental changes in the future,” said a ministry spokesperson.

The ministry will submit the plan to the National Assembly after seeking out opinions through public hearings on Friday. It will then finalize the energy plan after deliberations by the Energy Council, the Presidential Committee on Green Growth and the Cabinet Council.

By Shin Ji-hye (