On 11 March 2011 an enormous earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. It is a day that will be remembered in history, not only for the unimaginable human tragedy, but for the resulting nuclear disaster, the scale of which, after Chernobyl, we were told could never happen again. The nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has had one positive outcome, however, as it will also be seen as a turning point in not only Japan’s, but the world’s energy policy.
The Fukushima crisis has triggered intensive discussions on the safety of nuclear power, and as a first result, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy choose to end their nuclear programmes and to phase out existing reactors.
The nuclear crisis in the neighbouring country Japan could be turned into a huge opportunity to move towards a sustainable energy future. With an abundance of renewable energy resources and top class technology, South Korea can easily join other countries with a large renewable energy industry, while simultaneously ending its reliance on risky and expensive nuclear technology. It is also well placed to become much more energy efficient, to reduce the costs of energy as well as emissions, and to do its part to address climate change, the biggest challenge of our age.
The solution is the Energy [R]evolution. Only a dynamic shift in how we generate and use energy will make it possible to achieve both the phase out of nuclear and minimize the risk of climate change. Harnessing the renewable resources would not only make a huge contribution to averting runaway climate change, but would also create a thriving green economy.
The Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario for South Korea is based on a detailed renewable energy resource assessment . However only a fraction of the technical available renewable energy resources are needed to make the Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario until 2050 a reality.
turning the nuclear crisis into an opportunity
This report, The Advanced Energy [R]evolution—A sustainable Energy Outlook for South Korea, has been created to show the paths we can follow for a clean energy future. The ‘reference scenario’ is based on the Reference Scenario is based on the 1st National Basic Energy Plan (2008-2030). Both Energy [R]evolution scenarios were calculated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) with support from local experts.
If South Korea takes the ‘Energy [R]evolution’ pathway it is possible to achieve a renewable energy future by:
- Phasing out nuclear power generation by 2030
- Generating 14% of electricity from renewable energy by 2020 and over 25% by 2030
- Reducing 30% of CO2 emissions by 2030
The global market for renewable energy is booming internationally. Between 2005 and 2010, installed capacity of wind power grew by 333% globally, while solar photovoltaic grew by over 700%. As renewable energy is scaled up, we can start phasing out nuclear and fossil fuel, and end the reliance on these risky and dirty forms power. Enhanced efficiency and renewable energy supply can not only meet South Korea’s energy demand, but also help minimize the effects of climate change and create green jobs and a sustainable clean future.
the forgotten solution: energy efficiency
The South Korea Energy [R]evolution scenario takes advantage of the enormous potential for the country to become much more energy efficient. Energy efficiency offers some of the simplest, easiest and quickest measures for reducing energy demands, greenhouse gas emissions and cost to end-users. South Korea has extensive potential in maximizing energy efficiency. The Government can introduce policy measures to reduce the electricity consumption across all sectors and – at the same time – trigger innovation and new technology developments. There is no doubt that South Korea’s engineering industry could become among the world leader in energy efficiency and it will be a huge asset for the economy.
on the front foot
The Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario demonstrates that making the necessary transformation in how we use energy is achievable, it provides new opportunities, and creates green and sustainable jobs. We call on South Korea’s political leaders to turn the Energy [R]evolution scenario into a reality and to begin the inevitable transition from nuclear/fossil-fuels to renewable energy now, delivering a safe, nuclear-free environment, reduced threat from climate change and a sustainable, prosperous future.