South Korea Unveils $43 Billion Plan For World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm
South Korea has unveiled a $43 billion plan for the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
A deal for the huge wind power complex has been signed today, February 5, and it is hoped to be completed by 2030 in a bid to help the country recover from the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic – all while remaining environmentally friendly.
It also comes as a significant step of President Moon Jae-in’s Green New Deal, with South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050, similar to the US.
As reported by Reuters, while attending a signing ceremony in the southwestern coastal town of Sinan, Moon said, ‘With this project, we are accelerating the eco-friendly energy transition and moving more vigorously toward carbon neutrality.’
The plant will have a maximum capacity of 8.2 gigawatts (GW), as well as providing up to 5,600 jobs and helping the country achieve a goal to boost wind power capacity from 1.67GW to 16.5GW by 2030.
To put 8.2GW into context, officials say that’s the equivalent of six nuclear reactors, or the benefits of planting 71 million pine trees. Also, the largest offshore wind farm currently in operation is Hornsea 1 in the UK, with maximum capacity of 1.12GW.
The wind farm will be the result of collaboration between 33 separate entities, including Korea Electric Power Corp, SK E&S, Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corp, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., CS Wind Corp and Samkang M&T Co.
These companies will provide 47.6 trillion won of the required funding, while the government will pay the remaining 0.9 trillion won.
In an earlier speech, Moon said, ‘Together with the international community, we will actively respond to climate change and aim for carbon neutrality by 2050. By replacing coal power generation with renewable energy, we will create new markets and industries and create jobs.’
As part of US President Joe Biden’s host of executive orders, he’s also aiming to double US offshore wind leases in federal waters by 2030, with the Department of Interior taking steps to ‘accelerate responsible development of renewable energy on public lands and waters’.
Martin Neubert, executive vice president and CEO of Ørsted Offshore, a firm known for wind farm production, earlier said, ‘With strong industrial capabilities, significant supply chain potential, and numerous sites with promising offshore wind conditions, South Korea has a fantastic starting point for becoming a leading offshore wind market.’
South Korea’s wind farm could take more than five years in production, however the government is looking to speed up the process as much as possible.
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