2.2. National Energy Policy and Strategy
In Korea, various laws and policies for deregulation, investment promotion and mandatory quota system have been implemented to expand the renewable energy supply since 1988. These were bolstered by further actions in the 2000s. Recently, the Korean government has established various policies to foster new energy industries. The national energy paradigm for power supply and demand has also changed to focus on safe and eco-friendly energy sources. However, it is difficult to rely on private industry for development because ocean energy has many technological and economic risks. Therefore, there is an urgent need for government initiatives to create new policies. It is imperative to provide practical policies for the ocean energy industry, such as simplified administrative procedures.
Announced by the Korean government in 2017, the energy change roadmap provides extensive national energy policy changes, including phased reductions of nuclear power plants, the expansion of renewable energy and the promotion of regional industry. Figure 2
summarizes the “3020 plan for development of renewable energy” announced by the MOTIE. The objective of this plan is to obtain up to 20% of the nation’s electricity supply, around installed capacity of 63.8 GW, from renewable energy by 2030 [9
]. In addition, pursuing non-nuclear power sources, this policy promotes the development of eco-friendly, safe and efficient energy.
To achieve the goal of 63.8 GW renewable energy installed capacity, 48.78 GW of new facilities are required. More than 95% of the newly installed capacity is expected to be supplied by clean energy sources such as solar and wind power. The intention of this plan is to create a renewable energy system that will enhance the quality of life of its participants. The implementation plan includes expanding public participation, location determinations led by local government for development of renewable energy, large-scale project promotion, etc. The plan also intends to create a new energy industry to increase the existing energy industry competitiveness. However, this plan does not include any new or planned ocean energy facilities.
presents The Strategic Plan for Development and Support of New and Renewable Energy such as Ocean Energy announced by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) in 2017. The MOF plan includes a 2030 Development Plan for Ocean Energy. In addition, the MOF 2017 plan has four strategies and it is summarized as follows:
Strategy 1: Expansion of R&D in ocean energy and establishment of real sea test bed.
Strategy 2: Construction of large-scale ocean energy farm.
Strategy 3: Enter the global market and expand domestic supply.
Strategy 4: Establishment of certification system and strengthening of policy support.
Strategy 1 is to expand the R&D in ocean energy and construct the sea test bed for wave and tidal current energy converters. Especially, certification system will be established to secure technical reliability and entry into overseas markets. This strategy includes the development of commercial level systems for MW class TEC. In case of strategy 2, it aims to establish the supply chain and the pilot array. The central government, local government and industry will jointly construct the large-scale ocean energy farms using tidal current, wave and wave-offshore winds. And then, the government will support that companies lead to construct the commercial scale ocean energy farms. The government will also support to establish the grid system and to increase incentives by adjusting REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) weights. Strategy 3 is to enter the global market for ocean energy plants and establish regular supply systems for ocean energy. In this strategy, Korea wants to supply more ocean energy to the home. And ocean thermal energy conversion power generation will be tested to secure track records. Strategy 4 is to establish the ocean energy certification system and the policy support. As shown in strategy, these strategies have the implication that the government will take the lead in securing the technological competitiveness in the world by raising the maturity of technology.
The MOF report analyzed the results and problems of ocean energy development and summarized the status of ocean energy resource development in Korea. The objective of the MOF plan is to construct a total of 1.5 GW of ocean energy infrastructure by 2030. It attempts to create new energy industries by fostering specialized ocean energy companies and constructing a supply chain. In addition, the target installed capacity of ocean energy infrastructure was established. The plan calls for the installation of up to 220 MW of wave energy, 300 MW of hybrid systems and 700 MW of tidal current energy by 2030. Meanwhile, tidal power will be maintained as 254 MW from the Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Plant without further capacity expansion because of environmental problems [10
]. As government policy direction to provide clean energy is determined, ocean energy industry will grow. And sufficient investment and strategy considering the technical maturity will strengthen. However, in order to achieve these target capacities, active investment of the company is required. Not enough company participation is the biggest barrier to create a foundation for commercialization. These strategies include detailed plans, but there is a lack of ways to engage companies. Thus, it should induce company participation by establishing the national support strategy such as REC incentive. Only if these are satisfied, the policies can be more effective.
In case of tidal current energy, there are detailed plans for the development of large-scale tidal energy farms. As shown in Figure 4
, first, the open sea test bed will be established by 2022 for performance test and evaluation of TEC. This will facilitate expanded research of tidal current energy and enable the establishment of a practical testing system. After the establishment of sea test bed, development of the commercial level system for TEC will be carried out. The goal is to develop the MW class TEC to establish the commercialization. Thus, the plan will promote technological development of tidal current energy in Korea. Additionally, Korea plans to construct a 10 MW pilot array in the southwestern sea of Korea using the MW class TEC. Finally, between 2026 and 2030, a 700 MW tidal current energy farm will be constructed around the southwestern sea of Korea.
Furthermore, Korea must establish a systematic national strategy to create new marine industries and then secure its position as a global competitor in those industries. To this end, the MOF has announced a Basic Plan for the Marine Fisheries, Science and Technology Promotion [12
]. This plan aims to create a rich and safe marine space. It has four strategies summarized as follows:
Strategy 1: Promote marine fisheries, science and technology to create new industries and jobs.
Specifically, cultivate the following five sectors because they are expected to be industrialized soon: ocean energy, ocean bio, marine equipment and robots, eco-friendly vessels and aquaculture.
Strategy 2: Establish marine science and technology base to address and solve social problems.
Strategy 3: Innovate a new research and development support system by the Korean government.
Strategy 4: Create an ecosystem for sustainable development of marine fisheries, science and technology.
The development of ocean energy would enable meaningful advances in stabilizing Korea’s power supply and reducing carbon emissions that contribute to the greenhouse effect. However, Korea should also consider the negative effects of ocean energy, such as marine environmental problems and ecosystem damage. The Marine Environmental Impact Assessment Act is designed to predict and evaluate the environmental impacts of the plans and projects that affect marine environments. The report assesses many environmental factors such as the site feasibility, the suitability of the plan and reducing methods for environmental impact [13
]. The environmental impact assessment of ocean energy is conducted in consultation with the government. However, the aim and evaluation process are ambiguous at this moment. So verification of environmental impact and post-project environmental management processes must be enhanced. Especially, specific items and metrics will need to be classified according to project type, clearly.
There are many existing laws supporting the development of ocean energy. The Framework Act on Marine Fishery Development aims to help improve the national economy and the welfare of the people by establishing the government’s agenda and policies for the rational management, conservation, development and utilization of Korea’s marine resources and industries [15
]. Since 2017, New Energy and Renewable Energy Development, Use, and Spread Promotion law has been implemented. One of these laws attempts to diversify energy sources by developing new and renewable energy technology and promoting the related industries. This law also aims to contribute to the preservation of the environment, sustainable development of the national economy and improvement of the welfare of the people by stabilizing the national energy supply and reducing greenhouse gas emissions [16
]. The Energy Act, Framework Act on Low Carbon Green Growth and Rational Energy Utilization Act are also being implemented to support the development of new and renewable energy [17