On Friday, Seoul signed a $ 43 billion contract to build what it described as the largest offshore wind power complex, as South Korea seeks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
South Korea has scant energy resources and relies on imported coal, a cheap but highly polluting fuel, to secure about 40 percent of its electricity needs.
President Moon Jae-in announced the goal of carbon neutrality last year, but at the same time he is looking to phase out nuclear energy as the country relies on renewable energy sources.
He attended the signing of an agreement worth 48 trillion won (43 billion dollars) to build the complex off Sinan in the southwest of the country, explaining that it would be seven times larger than the largest such site on the sea in the world.
The government is counting on the complex, which will have a maximum production capacity of 8.2 megawatts, equivalent to the production of six nuclear power plants.
Moon said the country’s location on the Korean Peninsula gave it a geographical advantage. “We have unlimited potential from offshore wind energy from three sides and we have the best technologies in the world in the related fields,” he added.
Thirty-three entities are participating in the agreement, including local governments, the electricity company “KEPCO” and major private groups, including “Doosan” for heavy industries and construction.
Moon indicated that the project may take more than 5 years to start construction, but the government will try to speed up the process.
Seoul announced last year its goal to become one of the five largest wind power plants in the world by 2030.
South Korea also plans to reduce the number of current nuclear power plants, which is the only energy source causing limited carbon emissions in the country currently, from 24 to 17 by 2034, which will reduce energy production from this sector by nearly half.