South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has unveiled a plan to build what would be the world’s largest offshore windfarm, an 8-GW project costing around US$36Bn. The President said the windfarm would be completed by 2030
As Reuters reported, the massive project is part of an effort to drive an environmentally friendly recovery from the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reuters said the project is also a major component in President Moon Jae-in’s ‘Green New Deal’, which he initiated last year.
The news agency said President Moon attended a signing ceremony for the project in the southwestern coastal town of Sinan. “With this project, we are accelerating the eco-friendly energy transition and moving more vigorously toward carbon neutrality,” the President said.
Reuters said utility and engineering companies were in attendance, including Korea Electric Power Corp, SK E&S, Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corp, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co, CS Wind Corp and Samkang M&T Co. It reported that they would provide much of the funding required.
As highlighted previously by OWJ, the President has previously declared his intention to make South Korea “one of the world’s top five offshore wind energy powerhouses by 2030.”
Offshore wind was ‘carved out’ as a priority area in the Green New Deal. A dedicated implementation plan for offshore wind was released, but doubts have been expressed about whether the country’s ambitious goals for offshore wind capacity will be met.
It has been argued that the government’s support mechanism for offshore wind is too complex and does not provide developers with sufficient certainty.
However, South Korea has strong maritime and industrial capabilities, which are important to the development of offshore wind. Domestic turbine suppliers are entering the offshore wind market, although they are still behind the rapid turbine upscaling seen in Europe.
Grid investment is also required in South Korea and a diverse legislative framework and the need for a wide range of permits could slow down the rate at which projects progress.