South Korea seeks to reduce its use of energy by 4.1 percent from its business-as-usual (BAU) level in 2017 that will also help cut its greenhouse gas emissions, the government said Tuesday.
Under a new five-year plan affecting the 2013-2017 period, the government will seek to keep the annual growth of the country's total energy use under 1 percent, which will help reduce the country's overall use of energy to 218.2 billion tons of oil equivalents (TOEs) from the anticipated BAU level of 227.5 billion TOEs, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The move comes as the country imports nearly all of its energy.
Imports of raw materials, including energy, currently account for nearly 60 percent of the country's overall imports, the ministry has said.
"While seeking to better prepare the country for recurring oil price fluctuations, as well as power shortages that have recently become a serious problem, the fifth basic plan on the rationalization of energy use seeks to promote advanced management and use of energy that utilize new technologies and markets," the ministry said in a press release.
To this end, the government seeks to require all new large, energy-dependent facilities to be equipped with a power management system, such as an energy storage system.
It also seeks to increase minimum requirements for vehicle fuel efficiency to those of advanced nations, such as the European Union, which are expected to reach 26.5 kilometers per liter in 2020.
In addition, the government will seek to promote the use of clean energy vehicles, such as electric cars, in the public transportation sector.
The government has already implemented a new regulation that requires all public offices, including state-run universities, to choose at least 25 percent of all their new vehicles from electric cars.
The ministry said such efforts will also help reduce the country's overall greenhouse gas emissions by 88 million carbon dioxide equivalent tons over the 2013-2017 period. (Yonhap)