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South Korea: a neglected "energy superpower" country

Author: Source: Datetime: 2016-11-17 11:36:28

Primary energy dependence on imports


South Korea is a country with an extremely poor energy resource. There is hardly any fossil energy reserves, such as the development of renewable energy, such as water and solar power generator energy. Coal, oil, and natural gas are almost all dependent on imports. In order to improve the ability of domestic energy self-sufficiency, the South Korean government has increasingly focused on the development of nuclear power. 2015, South Korea's total energy consumption is about 277 million tons of oil equivalent, while its primary energy production is only 51 million tons of oil equivalent, only 18% of the total consumption.

 energy country

Domestic primary energy production, nuclear power occupies an absolute dominant position, and other types of primary energy production is very limited. From a global point of view, in 2015, South Korea's nuclear power ranked fifth in the world, after the United States, France, Russia and China, accounting for 6.4% of the total global nuclear power generation.


Primary energy consumption, the dominant fossil energy, accounting for more than 85%. From a global point of view, South Korea, the world's 0.68% of the population, consumes 2.6% of the world's oil (eighth of the world), 2.2% of the coal (seventh of the world) and 1.3% of the natural gas (nineteenth of the world). Since almost all of these resources are imported, South Korea is one of the world's most important energy trading nations. Using liquefied natural gas as an example, in 2015, South Korea liquefied natural gas (LNG) import volume reached 43 billion 700 million cubic meters (more than half of them from the Middle East), is second only to Japan, the world's second largest LNG importer, accounting for the global LNG trade volume 13%.

Powerful oil refining industry


Despite the lack of oil resources, but South Korea has a strong oil industry. Petroleum products has long been the largest export commodity in Korea, with an annual export volume of more than 50 billion USD. The refining capacity also underestimated, 2015 reached 3 million 110 thousand barrels per day, ranking seventh in the world, more than Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Iran, Canada and other major oil producing countries.


Renewable installed negligible


Since the oil crisis, South Korea has begun to reduce oil consumption in the field of electricity generation, the growth of electricity consumption is mainly from coal, gas and nuclear power to meet. In 2014, the proportion of total electricity generation in South Korea has declined from more than 80% in 1980 to about 4%, the proportion of coal, gas and nuclear power rose to 42.4%, 23% and 28.8% respectively.


South Korea is not rich in renewable energy resources, not only a small land area, but also about 70% of the land area is mountainous, the installation of wind power station is very expensive. The development of renewable energy is also late, in 2005 after the start of new wind power and solar backup generator plants. In 2015, hydropower and other renewable energy power generation accounted for less than 1%.


Carbon emissions in the world


With South Korea's economy and population growth, its energy consumption, especially the sharp increase in fossil energy consumption. Starting in 1980, as of 2015, South Korea energy consumption increased by 7.2 times, the total emissions increased by 5.3 times, reaching 6.5 tons, second only to the United States, India, Chinese, Russia, Japan, Germany, accounting for 1.9% of global emissions, is the world's seventh largest emitter of carbon dioxide. 2015 per capita carbon emissions of 12.8 tons / person, for its 1980 level of 4 times, about 2.5 times the global average. Unit GDP emissions of 0.4 kg / U.S. dollars, with the global average is very close. Ranked twenty-ninth in the world.


Energy transformation start


South Korea's energy policy is entirely around the country's huge energy demand and poor energy resources. Before 1990s, the main goal is to ensure the safety and economy of energy supply; the 2000, began efforts to promote the development of domestic energy industry; in 2008 published the first national energy plan, the first comprehensive exposition of South Korea's energy policy, to promote the sustainable development of energy balance like solar generator development, energy security, economic development and environmental protection.


The reduction of import dependence of fossil energy, improve nuclear power and renewable energy in the energy structure in the proportion of basic measures; released in 2014 second national energy plan, is by far the most new energy policy.

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