World's largest offshore wind farm in South Korea: Here's everything you need to know
On 5 February 2021, the Moon Jae-in administration announced its plans to build an 8.2 GW offshore wind farm in Jeonnam Province by the year 2030, as parts of efforts to foster an eco-friendly recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
President Moon Jae-in was present at the signing ceremony of the $43.2 billion projects in the Jeonnam Province. Speaking on the occasion, South Korean President Moon Jae-in stated, “With this project, we are accelerating the eco-friendly energy transition and moving more vigorously toward carbon neutrality.”
South Korean President has pledged to make South Korea one of the world's five biggest countries for installed offshore wind capacity by 2030.
In 2020, South Korean President Moon Jae-in initiated the Green New Deal to curb South Korea's reliance on fossil fuels and make it carbon neutral by 2050. The Jeonnam wind farm project is a major component of the $43 billion deal.
1- The Jeonnam wind farm will be built off the coast of Sinan in the Yellow Sea at a cost of $43.2 billion.
2- It is expected to lead to the creation of around 5,600 jobs and 450 companies.
3- The wind farm in Jeonnam is expected to be seven times larger than the UK's 1.2GW Hornsea 1. To date, the world's largest offshore wind farm is Hornsea 1 in Britain, which has 1.12 GW capacity.
4- The construction of around 3.5GW capacity will start by 2023 led by the government, with state-run utility Kepco awarded a contract for 1.5GW of capacity.
5- Private companies including Hanwha and SK E&SKorea Electric Power Corp, SK E&S, Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corp, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., CS Wind Corp and Samkang M&T Co. will begin constructing 600MW of capacity in 2021 while the remaining 4.1GW capacity is still undergoing a feasibility study.
6- The aforementioned companies will provide 47.6 trillion won funding for the project while the remaining 0.9 trillion won will be funded by the government.
The Jeonnam wind farm project is expected to boost the country's wind power capacity from 1.67 GW to 16.5 GW by 2030. As per the officials, the envisaged project amounts to the energy produced by six nuclear reactors or 71 million pine trees.
As per the Government of South Korea, the proposed offshore wind farm will be the world's biggest offshore wind power complex and is in line to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050. In order to accelerate the project, a special law will be enacted.
At present, South Korea has limited energy resources of its own and heavily relies on imported coal. It is important to note that South Korea draws 6% of its energy from renewable sources while coal-fired generation provides for nearly 40% of the nation's electricity.