The incoming government of South Korea has reportedly unveiled plans to adopt nuclear energy in its efforts for decarbonization, signaling a major energy policy shift from the outgoing government.
Won Hee-ryong, the chief policymaker setting out the agendas for newly elected President, Yoon Suk-yeol, stated that the country has witnessed more emissions and would see surging electricity costs because of the outgoing government’s push to phase out nuclear power, which accounts for nearly a third of South Korea’s power.
Furthermore, Hee-ryong noted that the country needs to implement a realistic, prudent, and right plan to attain carbon neutrality. This indicates that the outgoing government’s strategy of putting behind one of the most effective ways of producing energy has essentially backfired.
Kim Sang-hyup, a committee member backing Won, stated that the new government has resumed talks about nuclear power and other technological tools that could help in curbing carbon emissions.
Sang-hyup, who is the Founder of the Coalition for Our Common Future, also added that the outgoing government’s plan to get 70 percent of the country’s power through renewables by 2050 posed some risk as wind and solar power are unreliable in comparison to nuclear power.
Referring to chief policymaker Won, Kim revealed that Jeju Island, where Won was the governor from 2014 to 2021, gets nearly 18 percent of its power from renewable sources in comparison to the national average of 4.8 percent.
Outgoing President Moon, who has constantly supported the usage of renewables to cater to the ambitious climate goals of the country, which were established at a UN climate summit a year ago, stated that he will curb Korea’s emissions by 40 percent by the end of this decade from 2018 levels and attain net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Yoon government will begin its tenure on May 10 and will apply a green label to nuclear energy in its taxonomy, which is a list of climate-supportive activities approved by the government, by August.
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