Republic of Korea

Highlights in 2018
Highlights in 2018


Mission Innovation impact case study

Saemangeum Renewable Energy Project

  • The Republic of Korea will establish a 4GW renewable energy production complex on Saemangeum region, a vast tract of reclaimed land on the west coast. The central and provincial governments will build a 3GW solar power farm on land and a 1GW offshore wind farm near Gunsan. The power generation site represents 9.36 percent of the total reclaimed area.
  • The government and Jeollabuk-do will establish 2.4GW of photovoltaic power and 0.6GW of offshore wind power (0.1GW of inside and 0.5GW of outside of Saemangeum) by 2022 and also decided to accelerate construction related to power transmission and substation and regulatory work so the rest of the power generation business will be in accordance with local acceptability and progress on the internal development of Saemangeum.
  • The dissemination and expansion of renewable energy are recognized as an important policy tool, focusing on eco-friendly energy policies pursued by MI. In line with this global trend, Korea is also planning to reorganize its energy policies and projects into clean energy and expand the role of renewable energy nationwide. Renewable energy projects in Saemangeum are being carried out as part of this project.
  • The Saemangeum Development Administration, Jeollabuk-do, Gunsan City, Saemangeum Corporation, and the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning have signed multiple business agreements for the establishment of the Saemangeum Renewable Energy National Demonstration Research Complex in March 2019. The project plans to involve 100 companies and create 0.1 million jobs over the next 10 years.

Update on clean energy innovation policies and strategies

Hydrogen Economy Roadmap

  • The Republic of Korea government proposes a future national energy vision that is a hydrogen economy roadmap in January 2019. Along with the roadmap the government hopes to create new jobs through the transformation of the economic industry structure. Korea aims to build an industrial ecosystem that can lead the hydrogen economy based on hydrogen vehicles and fuel cells.
  • The Roadmap includes several targets such as the number of hydrogen vehicles and hydrogen charging stations by the year 2040. According to the roadmap, 1,800 hydrogen vehicles have already been produced and the target numbers of hydrogen vehicles is 0.8M units in 2022 and 6.2M units in 2040. For the hydrogen bus, the target is 35 units in 2019, 2,000 units in 2022, and 40,000 units in 2040. The hydrogen taxi pilot project will launch in 2019 and will involve 80,000 taxis in 2040. 14 hydrogen charging stations are already built nationwide. The roadmap plans 310 charging stations in 2022 and 1,200 charging stations in 2040. The capacity of the fuel cells for power generation would reach 15GW including 2.1 GW for houses and buildings.

Major innovation initiatives in 2018/19

4th Energy technology development plan kick-off

  • In November 2018 Korea held the kick-off meeting of the 4th energy technology development plan for successful energy transition and the establishment of strategies for technological innovation to enhance the competitiveness of the energy industry.
  • The Energy Technology Development Plan is a top-level plan for energy technology development that is established every five years under the Energy Act. This includes mid and long-term investment technologies, research and development regulations, commercialization, human resources development, and international cooperation. In 2019 the Korean government formed a general committee and five working groups (policy, infrastructure, clean energy, smart energy, and safe energy) for the 4th energy technology development plan (2019 – 2028).

Energy Transition Conference

  • In November 2018 Korea held an energy transition conference to define the meaning of energy transition and facilitate sustainable energy transition discussion between international experts and companies. This was a useful opportunity to establish the meaning of energy transition and the direction of sustainable development with international experts. Danish Energy Director, Bloomberg Oceania branch office president, and GE Asia-Pacific CEO introduced the results and impacts of the first anniversary of the energy transition.

Major activities in support of the Innovation Challenges in 2018/19

  • The Republic of Korea has been working in IC1,2,3,5, and 6 since the launch of the MI. The government has designed a new joint research program for the MI Challenges which was approved for launch in December 2018. The funding budget for this program is 3 billion Korean Won (approximately 2.7 million USD) per IC for 3 years i.e. a total of 21.6 million USD. For this program all sectors related to the Innovation Challenges are eligible. Korean researchers cooperate with the experts from MI members. This is eligible for funding as long as their consortium is formed with Korean participants. Researchers from Canada, the US, India, and Germany are working together with Korean experts.
  • The program supports a total of 8 projects in the area of the innovation challenge, one each), various activities such as joint workshop, manpower dispatch, recruitment, joint thesis announcement, research sample exchange, and visits to demonstration plants are underway.