South Korea subtly accounts for 35% of global offshore wind farm projects, and has announced an investment of KRW 48.5 trillion (approx. US$43.2 billion) on establishing the largest offshore wind farm at 8.2GW (= 8,200 MW = 8.2 million kWh), which not only accelerates the installed capacity and development of renewable energy, but also rejuvenates the post-pandemic economy through development projects of large power plants.
This particular project is associated with the “Korea New Deal” announced by Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea, at the 21st National Assembly in July 2020, which comprises of an investment of KRW 160 trillion (approx. US$132.9 billion) that will be injected into digital new deals and emerging green industries, including AI, 5G network, and electric vehicles, as well as states the target of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Moon commented then that the government has set a clear target, which is making the best use of South Korea’s geographical advantage in being surrounded by the sea on three sides, and become one of the top 5 countries in offshore wind power. According to the data provided by international consultancy and market research organization 4C Offshore, the country currently has 87 development projects of offshore wind power, five of which have generated electricity, whereas the construction or development progress for the rest of them has yet to arrive at the phase of grid connection.
The project also integrates with Korea Electric Power Corporation, Hanwha Engineering & Construction, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, SK E&S of SK Group, CS Wind, as well as Samkang M&T that manufactures ships and steel pipes. During the signing ceremony in February, Moon commented that the particular offshore wind power project is able to accelerate the transition period of clean energy, and march towards the target of carbon neutrality. Production bases will first be established in Yeongam County and Sinan County in order to connect the development projects to the grid as scheduled.
The Blue House commented that these companies will provide KRW 47.6 trillion of required funds, and the remaining KRW 900 billion will be paid for by the government. The 8.2GW capacity is equivalent to 6 units of nuclear reactors, which will also create 120,000 job opportunities, as well as achieve the 2030 target of enhancing the 124MW installed capacity of wind power generation to 12GW.
Prior to the completion of this wind farm, the largest offshore wind farm in the world goes to the Hornsea 1 with an installed capacity of 1.12GW.
(Cover photo source: Flickr/CGP Grey CC By 2.0)