Korea Pares Back Renewables as It Taps Nuclear for Climate Goal

(Bloomberg) -- South Korea plans to scale down its reliance on renewable energy sources and boost nuclear generation to meet its tougher climate goal.

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Renewable energy should account for 21.5% of generation capacity by the end of the decade, according to a draft of the nation’s long-term power supply plan, down from 30.2% under the previous version, the energy ministry said Tuesday in a statement, citing a government advisory group. Most of the gap would be met by nuclear while coal and gas are little changed from the prior proposal.

If the draft is finalized, it will mark a turning point under the new government led by President Yoon Suk Yeol that focuses on nuclear energy rather than renewables to meet climate goals. Yoon touted atomic energy throughout his presidential campaign and said there was a need to build more reactors, in a clear reversal of former President Moon Jae-in’s anti-nuclear policies.

The proposal will go through government discussions, parliament and public hearing before it’s finalized, the energy ministry said. South Korea bolstered its official emissions target, known as the nationally determined contribution, in 2021 to cut emissions 40% by 2030 from 2018 levels.

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