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The Basic Plan for Long-term Electricity Supply and Demand in Korea: A Comparison of the 7th and 8th Basic Plans

Author Lee Jin-Myon & Lee Youngho(이진면, 이용호) Date 2020.12.31 Series
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The stable supply of energy is very important in Korea owing to its high level of energy consumption and heavy reliance on imports for its energy use. As of 2017, Korea’s final energy consumption per capita was 4.55 tons of oil equivalent (toe), 3.5 times the global average of 1.28 toe, with imported energy accounting for 94 percent of the primary energy supply.
However, the current government is pushing to shift its energy policy stance from supply-side expansion to demand management. The 8th Basic Plan for Electricity Supply and Demand announced in 2017 sets basic directions for energy policy, focusing on the environment and safety by reducing the use of nuclear power and coal.
The shift in the country’s energy policy stance reflects the legal obligations of environmental protection and public safety, growth trends in the use of renewable energy and reduced use of nuclear energy and coal in developed countries and domestic conditions of stable electricity supply and demand. However there are many concerns, including the possibility of unstable energy supply and demand, and the chance that a rapid transition of the energy scheme does not fully consider the environment and safety when renewable energy use is expanded.
With these concerns in mind, this report compares and analyzes the main content of the 8th Basic Plan - which reflects the current government’s energy policy stance - with the previous 7th Basic Plan, discussing the major issues arising from the shift in policy stance.