Energy Blue Print
Scenarios for a future energy supply

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years

download the report South-Korea 2012

key results of the south korea energy [r]evolution scenario

6.1 development of energy demand to 2050

The future development pathways for South Korea’s energy demand are shown in Figure 6.1 for the Reference and both Energy [R]evolution scenarios. Under the Reference scenario, total primary energy demand in South Korea increases by 58% from the current 9,614 PJ/a to 15,151 PJ/a in 2050. In the Energy [R]evolution scenario, by contrast, energy demand decreases by 28% and 32% in the Advanced case, compared to current consumption and it is expected by 2050 to reach 6,917 PJ/a and 6,513 PJ/a in the Advanced scenario.

Under the Energy [R]evolution scenario, electricity demand in the industrial, residential and services sectors is expected to fall slightly below the current level (see Figure 6.2). The growing use of electric vehicles however, leads to an increased demand reaching a level of 477 TWh/a 2050. Electricity demand in the Energy [R]evolution scenario is still 396 TWh/a lower than in the Reference scenario.

The Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario introduces electric vehicles earlier while more journeys - for both freight and persons - will be shifted towards electric trains and public transport. Fossil fuels for industrial process heat generation are also phased out more quickly and replaced by electric geothermal heat pumps and hydrogen. This means that electricity demand in the Advanced Energy [R]evolution is higher and reaches 486 TWh/a in 2050, still 37% below the Reference case.

Efficiency gains in the heat supply sector are larger than in the electricity sector. Under both Energy [R]evolution scenarios, final demand for heat supply can even be reduced significantly (see Figure 6.3). Compared to the Reference scenario, consumption equivalent to 1,370 PJ/a is avoided through efficiency measures by 2050.

In the transport sector, it is assumed under the Energy [R]evolution scenario that energy demand will decrease by 20% to 1,021 PJ/a by 2050, saving 45% compared to the Reference scenario. The Advanced version factors in a faster decrease of the final energy demand for transport. This can be achieved through a mix of increased public transport, reduced annual person kilometres and wider use of more efficient engines and electric drives. While electricity demand increases, the overall final energy use falls to 741 PJ/a, 40% lower than in the Reference case.

6.2 electricity generation

A dynamically growing renewable energy market will compensate for the phasing out of nuclear energy and reduce the number of fossil fuel-fired power plants required for grid stabilisation. By 2050, 77% of the electricity produced in South Korea will come from renewable energy sources. ‘New’ renewables – mainly wind, solar thermal energy and PV – will contribute 56% of electricity generation. The installed capacity of renewable energy technologies will grow from the current 3 GW to 164 GW in 2050, increasing renewable capacity by a factor of 55.

The Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario projects a faster market development with higher annual growth rates achieving a renewable electricity share of 49% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. The installed capacity of renewables will reach 129 GW in 2030 and 198 GW by 2050, 21% higher than in the basic version.

To achieve an economically attractive growth in renewable energy sources a balanced and timely mobilisation of all technologies is of great importance. Figure 6.4 shows the comparative of the different renewable technologies over time. Up to 2020 hydro and wind will remain the main contributors of the growing market share. After 2020, the continuing growth of wind will be complemented by electricity from biomass, photovoltaics and solar thermal (CSP) energy. The Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario will lead to a higher share of fluctuating power generation source (photovoltaic, wind and ocean) of 41% by 2030, therefore the expansion of smart grids, demand side management (DSM) and storage capacity from the increased share of electric vehicles will be used for a better grid integration and power generation management.

None of these numbers - even in the Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario - utilise the maximum known technical potential of all the renewable resources. While the deployment rate compared to the estimated technical potential for wind power (KFEM estimation) is relatively high at 72% in the Advanced version, for geothermal less than 1%, for PV less than 2% and for hydro less than 3% has been used.