Seoul seeking to hike power generation capacityEmbattled by daily threats of a possible power shortage, the government is seeking to permanently increase the country’s overall electricity generation capacity by nearly 40 percent over the next 15 years, government and industry sources said yesterday.
The government sets up a 15-year plan every two years for the country’s power supplies with the latest plan announced in 2010 calling for efforts to increase the country’s generation capacity from about 70 million kilowatts that year to 95 million kilowatts by 2024.
The sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the new 15-year plan will likely entail measures to increase the country’s maximum generation capacity to 110 million kilowatts by 2027, up 37.5 percent from the current 80 million kilowatts.
The new plan, the sixth of its kind, will likely be finalized and announced before the end of the month, they said.
The move to significantly increase the country’s generation capacity follows a series of power shortage warnings caused by unprecedentedly low temperatures.
The country’s peak electricity consumption surged to an all-time high of nearly 77 million kilowatts on Jan. 3, driving the electricity reserves down to nearly what officials called a dangerous level of 3 million kilowatts.
A large part of the new generation capacity will likely come from nuclear reactors as the country is already set to build 10 reactors by 2020 in addition to the 23 currently in operation. Under a separate plan dealing strictly with nuclear power plants, the government plans to increase the number of reactors to 39 by 2030.
The 2010 plan had also sought to boost power supply from renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, from around 2.6 percent of total capacity to over 7 percent by 2024.
Officials from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said the move toward heavier dependence on new and clean energy sources will again be reflected in the upcoming 15-year plan. Yonhap