Yoon gov't set out energy efficiency goals
One key is use of nuclear energy and the entire plan is based on the voluntary cooperation of companies and households.
In its first meeting under the Yoon Suk-yeol administration, an Energy Commission headed by Lee Chang-yang, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, laid out the general direction for improving energy efficiency in industry, transportation and buildings.
The government will sign an agreement with 30 companies that consume the most energy -- more than 200,000 TOE a year -- called the Korea Energy Efficiency Partnership 30, or KEEP 30.
These companies consume roughly 63 percent of the energy used by Korean industry.
The agreement will include targets for innovation, efficiency, ESG certification, helping smaller business partners, and offer various kinds of government support.
State-own energy suppliers including the Korea Electric Power Corp. will offer support to companies to improve their energy efficiency.
The government plans to expand an Energy Cashback program, currently being tested in three areas – Sejong, Naju, South Jeolla, and Jincheon, North Chungcheong - nationwide at some point.
The system offers refunds to households and commercial buildings that conserve energy.
Monitoring of energy efficiency of major buildings will be transferred from the central government to local government.
To reduce energy use in transportation, the government plans to introduce more detailed labeling of the energy efficiency of electric vehicles and implement a next generation intelligent traffic network system.
It will be tested on expressways connecting Seoul and Busan, as well as in the greater Seoul area.
“Our economy is faced with a very serious situation due to conditions at home and abroad with the world worried over stagflation,” said Energy Minister Lee. “We are exposed to a volatile global energy market ... and have a high dependence on energy imports.
Korea is among the world’s top 10 energy consumers. It consumes 1.7 times more energy than the OECD average
By efficiency, it ranks only 33rd among 36 OECD countries.
While industry consumes the most energy -- 62 percent with 142.9 million TOE -- energy use in transportation and by buildings has been increasing as well.
In industry, manufacturing accounts for 90 percent of energy use, of which 80 percent is used by the steel and petrochemical industries and oil refineries.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [email@example.com]