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A nuclear- to-gas transition in South Korea: is it environmentally friendly or economically viable?


Hong, S and Brook, BW, A nuclear- to-gas transition in South Korea: is it environmentally friendly or economically viable?, Energy Policy, 112 pp. 67-73. ISSN 0301-4215 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2017.10.012


Given the limited potential for renewable energy and high population density of South Korea, nuclear has been an essential electricity generation option for supply of reliable power whilst reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and mitigating air pollution. However, the recently elected (2017) South Korean government has a policy committing them to a phase-out of nuclear and coal, offset by an increase in the share of variable renewables. However, the main component of the power transition is set to be liquefied natural gas (LNG), due to technical and economic barriers facing large-scale renewables. It is therefore critical for South Korea to develop an evidence-based perspective on the details of the transition, before any future energy policy is decided. Here we review: i) the national role of renewable sources given technical and economic limitations in South Korea; ii) potential environmental and economic issues with gas; and iii) potential barriers of and benefits to a nuclear pathway. Our conclusion is that, given the geographical and economic limitations facing South Korea, and the need to reduce carbon emissions cost effectively, a nuclear pathway coupled with a moderate renewable share offers the most viable policy, with a gas-focused energy future being neither environmentally friendly nor economic.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:energy transition, gas, renewable energy, nuclear power, energy policy in South Korea
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Industrial biotechnology
Research Field:Nanobiotechnology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences
UTAS Author:Hong, S (Dr Sanghyun Hong)
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:121792
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2017-10-16
Last Modified:2019-03-22

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