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At the crossroads: An uncertain future facing the electricity-generation sector in South Korea


Hong, S and Brook, BW, At the crossroads: An uncertain future facing the electricity-generation sector in South Korea, Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, 5, (3) pp. 522-532. ISSN 2050-2680 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2018 The Authors. Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd and Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License (, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

DOI: doi:10.1002/app5.245


Nuclear energy has provided a major source of clean electricity for South Korea over decades. However, the South Korean Government announced an energy transition roadmap aiming to reduce nuclear shares and increase renewable shares. However, given the nation's high population density, the maximum share of renewable sources for electricity generation in South Korea is constrained. The roadmap was silent on how to fill the gap between a reduced nuclear output and the limited renewable potentials. The tacit alternatives are fossil fuels, and their deployment will become the key determining factor on how South Korea approaches the problem of greenhouse gas emissions reductions. We used scenario analysis to investigate two fossil-intensive cases, alongside a hypothetical renewable case. On the basis of the comparison of the three scenarios with other countries, we provide an insight into the feasibility and limitations of the nonnuclear options and propose the techno-economic requirements for avoiding the worst outcomes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:carbon emissions, energy transition, fossil fuels, nuclear phase‐out, renewable resources
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Environment policy
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Energy storage, distribution and supply
Objective Field:Energy systems and analysis
UTAS Author:Hong, S (Dr Sanghyun Hong)
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:144155
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FL160100101)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2021-04-26
Last Modified:2021-05-05
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