South Korea’s nuclear power generation volume increases in 2020

The Uljin site in North Gyeongsang province where Units 3 and 4 of the Shin Hanul nuclear power plant were to be built before construction was suspended

South Korea’s reliance on nuclear power plants is paradoxically increasing despite the Moon Jae-in administration’s policy to reduce nuclear power generation. Electricity generation based on renewable energy, which was to replace coal and nuclear power, grew by only around 3%.

The Korea Electric Power Corp. announced on Feb. 18 that South Korea’s nuclear power generation volume increased 9.8 percent to 160,184 GWh last year, posting the highest rate of increase among its production methods of electricity. “Nuclear power generation ratio increased from 25.9% to 29%, the largest increase as well,” he said, adding, “In 2020, Korea’s nuclear power generation South exceeded 160,000 GWh for the first time since 2016”.

On the other hand, coal-fired electricity production decreased by 13.6% to 196,489 GWh, falling below the 200,000 GWh mark for the first time in 11 years. Yet this method accounted for 35.6% of total electricity generation as the most popular method.

Last year, the capacity of renewable energy facilities in South Korea increased by about 30% to 20.9 GW, based on government promotion, and yet its electricity production based on renewable energy increased slightly by 3.9% to 37,804 GWh. Likewise, its ratio in terms of power generation increased slightly from 6.5% to 6.8%, while the ratio of renewable energy-based facilities to total power generation facilities rose from 12.8% to 16.1%.

The volume of gas-based electricity production increased by 1.1% while the installation ratio fell from 31.6% to 31.9%.

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