The Korea Herald


Race for ‘greenium’ takes off

SK, LG, Hanwha purchase electricity generated by renewables to achieve RE100

By Kim Byung-wook

Published : Feb. 9, 2021 - 16:31

    • Link copied

An SKIET official checks the quality of a separator sheet. (SK Innovation) An SKIET official checks the quality of a separator sheet. (SK Innovation)
Major South Korean firms are willingly accepting “green premium,” a price tag for tackling green issues, to accentuate their sustainability efforts.

According to SK Innovation Tuesday, its subsidiary SK IE Technology will run its domestic operations 100 percent with renewable energy.

SKIET, which manufactures separators for electric vehicle batteries, purchased 180 gigawatt-hours of electricity generated by renewables through the Korea Electric Power Corp.’s Green Premium program on Monday.

Launched this year, Kepco’s Green Premium program allows customers to purchase electricity generated by renewables such as solar and wind power with an extra charge. In return, Kepco issues renewable energy certificates, or RECs, to customers. Using those certificates, customers can prove they are participating in Renewable Energy 100 or RE100, a global initiative to source 100 percent of electricity consumption from renewables.

The 180 GWh of electricity will be able to power SKIET’s two domestic plants in Jeungpyeong and Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, throughout this year.

“SKIET will make products that can address environmental issues and conduct environment, social and governance management based on actions to facilitate eco-friendly manufacturing process,” SKIET CEO Rho Jae-sok said.

On the same day, LG Chem also joined the “greenium” race.

According to South Korea’s leading chemical firm, it purchased 120 GWh of clean electricity through the Kepco’s Green Premium program.

The 120 GWh of electricity, which is enough to power 28,000 households for one year, will allow LG Chem to achieve RE100 at two business sites -- a chemical plant in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province that manufactures a raw material for medical gloves called NBR latex, and a technical service and development center in Osan, Gyeonggi Province.

Also, LG Chem’s cathode plant in Cheongju will source 30 percent of its power from the 120 GWh of clean electricity. Cathode is one of the four key components of an electric vehicle battery including anodes, electrolytes and separators.

Meanwhile, Hanwha Q Cells, a solar power unit of Hanwha Solutions, said it has too purchased electricity through Kepco’s Green Premium program to achieve RE100 for its domestic operations.

Though the world’s sixth largest solar panel producer didn’t disclose the exact amount, when combined with the company’s self-generated electricity, it will be enough for the company to reach RE100 for its domestic operations, the company explained.

“As the No.1 player in major markets, Hanwha Q Cells will bolster its competitiveness through an aggressive ESG management,” Hanwha Q Cells President Kim Hee-chul said.

By Kim Byung-wook (