South Korea signs deal to construct $43 Billion offshore wind farm

The government of South Korean has announced its plan to construct the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The ambitious project is set to cost $43 billion.

The Country is transitioning to renewable energy sources, to curb its reliance on hydrocarbons and nuclear reactors and to attain zero carbon emission by 2050. The switch has been termed the Green New Deal. Total share of renewable energy is expected to rise to 40% by 2034, from the current 15%.

South Korea lacks major sources of energy of its own and has had to depend on coal sourced from other countries for close to 40% of its energy mix. Nuclear reactors (24 of them) supply a quarter the Asian nation’s energy needs, with most of the plants sited close to the densely populated cities of Gyeonju, Ulsan and Busan.

The proposed wind farm is set to generate 8.2 gigawatts, which is equal to the total output of six of its nuclear reactors.

President Moon Jae-in, who oversaw the signing ceremony for the contracts, commented that his nation’s geographic location makes it ideal to tap into various sources of renewable energy. “We have the infinite potential of offshore wind power to the sea on three sides, and we have the world’s best technology in related fields,” he said. “With this project, we are accelerating the eco-friendly energy transition and moving more vigorously toward carbon neutrality”

The farm, which will be situated off the coast of Sinan in the southwest region, will be seven times bigger than the current largest offshore wind farm, the Hornsea 1 facility in the UK.

98% of the construction fund is being provided by private companies, with the government putting up the remaining 2%. The companies involved include SK E&S, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction and KEPCO. It would generate more than 5600 jobs. Project completion is slated for 2030, although it might take five years to begin construction.

Rystad Energy reported that China will be responsible for most (about 63%) of the new global wind farm construction this year. Globally, 2020 saw a 15% rise in offshore energy generation, to 32 gigawatts.

Written by D.O. for