South Korea Unveils Ambitious Energy Blueprint, Aiming for 70% Carbon-Free Power by 2038

has revealed a draft blueprint for its energy mix over the next 15 years, aiming to significantly increase the proportion of -free energy sources to 70% by 2038, up from less than 40% in 2023.

The government's plan involves maintaining its previous commitment to add four nuclear plants by 2038, bringing the total to 30. However, it also aims to more than triple and wind power output to 72 gigawatts by 2030, compared to 23 gigawatts in 2022.

President Yoon Suk Yeol has emphasized the need for a balanced approach to energy sources, with a focus on nuclear power alongside the expansion of . This strategy aims to reduce South Korea's reliance on imported fossil fuels, according to a statement from the industry ministry.

The proposed plan, crafted by experts and awaiting final approval from the government, targets a rise in power generation capacity to 157.8 gigawatts by 2038, up from 134.5 gigawatts in late 2022.

The ministry highlighted the expected surge in energy consumption, particularly driven by the expansion of data centers and large chip-production facilities to meet the growing demand for artificial intelligence.

To address concerns about aging coal power plants, twelve plants reaching 30 years old by 2037 and 2038 are slated to be replaced by carbon-free alternatives like pumped-storage hydroelectricity and power generation. Additionally, South Korea intends to replace other older coal power plants with liquefied natural gas facilities.

Furthermore, the government has allocated 0.7 gigawatts of power generation capacity to small modular reactors by 2038, aiming to support the development of this type of nuclear reactor to meet anticipated global demand.

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