Kotra talks green energy with foreign businesses and chambers
Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra) held a business forum on the green energy transition in Korea on Wednesday with co-host Norwegian Business Association Korea and 18 foreign chambers in Korea.
“There is a high possibility that [President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol] will increase nuclear power and reduce the renewables for the adjustment of the energy mix proportion,” said environmental law specialist Kim Weon-jin, a partner of major Korean law firm Yulchon LLC, during the Business+ Forum at the Grand Intercontinental Seoul Parnas in southern Seoul.
The Wednesday event, which was the second of its kind, was attended by about 50 representatives from foreign businesses operating in Korea and foreign chambers of commerce, including Lyu Jae-won, the executive vice president for trade-investment data at Kotra, and Andreas Kristoffersen, chairman of Norwegian Business Association Korea.
The Business+ Forum is a monthly event for foreign businesses operating in Korea and is supported by 18 foreign chambers in the country including the American Chamber of Commerce and the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea.
“The goal of the event is to support the [foreign businesses] in adjusting to the Korean market in terms of government policies and understanding the industry,” said Lyu, adding that the event also aims to provide a venue for networking among companies.
During the session, keynote speaker Kim explained that while the new administration is set to maintain the Moon administration’s carbon neutrality goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent until 2030, it “will be revising its achievement plan,” putting a bigger emphasis on nuclear energy.
Yoon promised to completely overturn the Moon administration's nuclear phase-out policy by extending the lifespan of existing facilities and resuming the suspended construction of Shin-Hanul 3 and 4 in Uljin, North Gyeongsang.
According to Kim, growth in the local wind power industry may slow down when Yoon takes office, but the hydrogen and battery industries are likely to continue to play a key role in Korea’s energy policy.
During the discussion session after the presentation, attendees exchanged thoughts on the details of the incoming administration's energy policy.
“I’m a little bit surprised and a little bit discouraged, I have to say, that the incoming administration is in a way of turning the other way around,” said Svein Grandum, director at the local office of Innovation Norway, “when a lot of investors have already positioned themselves in this market in order to be a part of the exciting Korean offshoring wind market that was expected to come.”
Kim responded that the Yoon administration plans to prioritize the nuclear sector over other new renewable energy sectors such as wind power because "Korea's nuclear power technology is very advanced," but added that it was still too early to make any decisions or judgments yet.
During the Q. and A. session, questions regarding photovoltaic technology development in Korea and the details on the proportion of the energy mix were also raised.
BY SHIN HA-NEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]