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Working together for renewable energy

Aug 08,2017
The world is shifting from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy in great energy migration. The price of solar energy module has fallen from $3.82 per watt in 2008 to $0.33 earlier this year, one tenth in eight years. Meanwhile, the efficiency of solar energy improved by 55 percent, from 10.7 percent to 16.6 percent. In more regions, grid parity, where costs for production of renewable energy and fossil fuel energy are equal, is reality, and it is expected to expand across the world after 2020.

The portion of renewable energy in global energy production increased from 18.2 percent in 2006 to 23.7 percent in 2015. China had a late start, but in the same period, renewable energy’s share of total energy production grew from 15.6 percent to 22.6 percent. Korea’s renewable energy has increased from 1 percent in 2006 to 6.6 percent in 2015. But only 1.5 percent meets international standards, such as solar and wind energies.

At this juncture, the new administration proposed a goal of increasing the portion of renewable energy generation to 20 percent by 2030. To meet the goal, we need to make special efforts to expand renewable energy generation beyond the current rate of dissemination. In response to the global trend of energy migration, to reduce greenhouse gas and fine dust and to enhance energy independence, the new administration’s goal of 20 percent renewable energy by 2030 is a difficult path that we must take.

An environment that benefits the local residents through successful renewable energy business should be established, and expansion of local participation in rural solar farms will increase residents’ acceptance of renewable energy. Moreover, we need to focus national capacity to establish infrastructure to expand domestic market for renewable energy. Now, the private sector and government should work together and make earnest efforts to expand distribution of renewable energy and development of related industries.

*CEO of the Korea Energy Agency

Kang Nam-hoon