Over the past decade, the South Korean wind power market has increased from an installed capacity of 5.9 MW in 2000 to more than 400 MW in 2011, and is set to continue at this rapid rate.
The industry has recently been reformed which had stunted the growth a little bit but now with the reforms in place already, the capacity is growing and is expected to take the fast track to growth.
In April 2010, the regulatory framework for renewable energy changed from a feed-in tariff scheme to a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) scheme. According to the new regulatory scheme the tariff for power generated by renewable energy sources will result from the system marginal price plus a renewable energy certificate (REC), which aims to compensate for the higher capital cost of renewable energy.
Wind energy in South Korea is still in its infancy, but the Korean government has made "green growth" with low carbon emissions one of its priorities for national development.
Under the RPS scheme, the 13 largest public and private utilities are required to purchase or to generate renewable energy as a share of their total generation, starting at 2% in 2012 and gradually increasing to 10% by 2022.
According to the RPS target, and assuming that wind power will provide 70% of all renewable power, 2,390 MW should be built in 2012, and Korea's cumulative wind power capacity market should reach 15,660 MW by 2022.
Companies have recently come to realise the business opportunities in the South Korean wind power industry, which in turn has attracted increased investment. Four Korean heavy industry companies have announced their intention to start manufacturing wind turbines using international technology.
Hyundai Heavy Industry, with a production portfolio of 1.65 MW, 2 MW and 2.5 MW turbines for onshore and 5.5 MW turbines for offshore use, Samsung Heavy Industry with a production portfolio of 2.5 MW turbines for onshore and 5 MW or bigger for offshore, Daewoo, Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, with a portfolio of 1.25 MW and 2 MW turbines and 6 MW or larger, and STX with 2 MW and 7MW turbines.
The South Korea wind power industry has an aggressive target of reaching 23 GW of wind power by 2030, which would, with a production of around 50 TWh, provide around 10% of the country's total energy demand.
For more information on the South Korean wind power market, see the latest research: South Korean Wind Power Market Report
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