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Korea's evolving energy strategy-a different shade of green : External challenges and opportunities for the Park Geun Hye Administration

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  • Korea's evolving energy strategy-a different shade of green
  • Hutchinson, George
  • Korea Economic Institute of America


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Title Korea's evolving energy strategy-a different shade of green
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Sub Title

External challenges and opportunities for the Park Geun Hye Administration

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Hutchinson, George

Publisher

Washington DC:Korea Economic Institute of America

Date 2014
Pages 7
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Industry and Technology < Energy
Holding Korea Economic Institute of America

Abstract

The health and strength of Korea’s manufacturing-intensive, export-led economy remains almost entirely dependent on access to energy imports; in particular, oil from the Middle East. This continues to leave the country’s strategic outlook exposed and vulnerable. The “low carbon, green growth” vision of the previous presidential administration emphasized supply-oriented policies, focusing on growth and investment in nuclear and renewable energy. However, as Korea revises its National Energy Plan, indications are the Park Geun-hye administration will favor demand-side solutions. Additionally, previous plans to expand nuclear energy capacity will likely be canceled and less emphasis on renewables is expected. The revised plan will set the country on a new, strategic five-year trajectory that will profoundly impact its politics, economy and energy security. To provide context to the impending shift in policy, this paper will examine Korea’s energy portfolio and assess its level of dependency and energy security vulnerability. Additionally, the paper will examine recent energy policies and strategies as they have evolved up to the current administration. Finally, the paper will gauge the strategic direction Korea is set to embark upon as it seeks to enhance its energy security while carefully balancing impacts to social equity, the environment, and the Korean economy.