The Korea Herald


Seoul’s first energy minister pledges ‘redesign of energy market’

By Kim Byung-wook

Published : Aug. 9, 2021 - 16:00

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Energy Minister Park Ki-young (Yonhap) Energy Minister Park Ki-young (Yonhap)

South Korea’s first energy minister, Park Ki-young, said Monday that he would redesign the country’s energy market for carbon neutrality.

“This is an important year to lay down the foundation for carbon neutrality. We have to reconstruct the current fossil-fuel-based energy supply and demand system and market structure into clean-energy-focused ones,” Park said in his inauguration speech.

To that end, the newly appointed energy minister pledged to secure an optimum energy mix, bolster the grid infrastructure and expand dispersed power sources.

Last week, the government created a new vice ministerial post within the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and appointed Park to lead the nation in reaching its 2050 carbon neutrality goal.

Previously, the ministry had two vice ministers -- one for trade and one for industry and energy. Now it has three, making it unique among government ministries. Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Moon Sung-wook remains in the top post.

Park further added that his emphasis would be on creating jobs in the future energy sector and promoting communication and collaboration.

“To realize carbon neutrality, we will provide preemptive support for the private sector’s innovative efforts to secure breakthrough technologies such as building-integrated photovoltaics, floating wind power and carbon capture,” Park said.

Park previously served as the head of the Energy Ministry’s planning and coordination office, where he gained expertise in energy policy.