A Clean Energy Korea by 2035, Transitioning to 80% Carbon-Free Electricity Generation

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The current global energy crisis has massive implications for the people and economy of South Korea
(Korea), where at least 90% of energy use depends on foreign fossil fuels. Clean electricity accounts
for only 39% of total generation, with electricity demand expected to increase 30% by 2035. This study
shows that Korea can achieve 80% clean electricity by 2035 by capitalizing on rapid technological
improvements and decreasing costs of solar, wind, and battery technology. Doing so would slightly
lower electricity supply costs, significantly reduce dependence on imported natural gas and coal, and
dramatically cut power sector emissions. Further, this study finds that Korea’s power grid under a clean
energy scenario will maintain reliability without coal generation or new natural gas plants. To realize
these significant economic, environmental, and energy security benefits, policies such as an 80% clean
electricity standard by 2035 and corresponding renewable energy deployment goals are required.

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