SOUTH KOREAN ENERGY SECURITY
Mowbray, Cory R.
Looney, Robert E.
Weiner, Robert J.
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This thesis examines whether South Korean policy initiatives will be satisfactory for the Korean government to meet the country’s energy security objectives. It qualitatively evaluates the state of reforms administered by the government in various energy sectors (fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewable energy) and asserts their feasibility amid Korea’s energy transition goals. The study finds that South Korea’s energy milestones set by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) will most likely be missed. This is due to the lack of a coal phaseout strategy that bolsters public and private milestones, an insufficient path for decommissioning nuclear power plants, and a monopolized natural gas market that has limited room for growth in the near future. Moreover, Korea’s plan of increasing the utility of natural gas to replace oil and coal will shift its supply chain to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, which does little to reduce its import dependency. The renewable energy sector is a promising area of investment for Korea, but the sector faces bureaucratic challenges and fierce competition from traditional fossil fuel resources that saturate the market. It is recommended that Korea rapidly liberalize power-generation markets, publish an effective coal-phaseout strategy, increase research and development for nuclear power plant decommissioning, and finally, publicize the benefits of renewable energy to increase market participation and become more energy secure.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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