RE-Talk South Korea:
Wind Energy Webinar
Vice President Sales Asia-Pacific
Equinor South Korea
Background of wind market in South Korea:
Draft 9th Basic Plan for Electricity Demand and Supply:
Renewables: 2019: 15.8GW; 2034: 78.1GW (+62.3GW) (40% share of total electricity generation in 2034) Under RE3020 policy, wind power expected to grow 16.5GW by 2030.
LNG: 2019: 39.7GW; 2034: 60.6GW (+20.9GW) (replace some of the old retiring nuclear power plants, and the government is pushing nuclear to phase out)
Coal and nuclear will decrease 7.8GW and 3.9GW of total capacity from 2019 to 2034.
Offshore wind market:
Offshore wind capacity is expected to reach 8GW by 2030, where 84% of total capacity is expected to be installed after 2023.
a. For near-term offshore wind projects, many complex permitting is not well addressed at the moment. Many projects are suffering from community acceptance issues.
b. The lack of clarity RPS mechanism can put some of offshore wind projects’ financing at the delay.
Onshore wind market:
Med to Low wind speeds: most of sites <7.5m/s avg wind speeds (class III)
South Korea is still pending on large number of projects by 2023:
REC and SMP Price:
Required REC price could reach parity with the government’s draft guidance on REC bid price in 2023 - 24, putting offshore wind projects in the money.
REC market is currently oversupplied as the pace of new renewable deployment exceeds the RPS target.
Three important factors to influence SMP price:
1. Power demand: Earlier power demand will stay low through the year. In the long run, power demand will grow 1% every year.
2. Energy mix: In the long run, the government push out nuclear from power dispatch. And Gas fire power will be relatively more expensive. And this will push up SMP. In addition, some new nuclear and coal plants which are under construction will come online for next four years.
3.Gas price: Wholesale gas price for power generators will rise in the long-term (put upward pressure on the SMP).
Other important knowledges:
Current regulations are not allowed to operate in both power generation and power sales at the same time, so corporate PPA is not a viable option at this moment.
Plan to Introduce third party PPA: KEPCO is a third party between power generators and power consumers. The legal amendments for running third-party PPA will be introduced by 2021.
Regulations on local content requirement: In South Korea, technically there is no local content requirement. As for the company, you are not required to use domestic content or technology. However, the current government is priority in fostering domestic industry and job creation. In many cases you will actually see some invisible barriers during the procurement process. (You need to make a closer relationship with many key players, like KEPCO)
Key opportunities of offshore wind market in South Korea:
Large business potential in floating offshore wind in Southeast coast (Near shore: Average wind speed is 6-7m/s; Far from the shore: Average wind speed is 8-9m/s)
1. Potential CAPEX savings from using existing gas infrastructure
2. T&D infrastructure in Southeast region
3. Local EPC experience in offshore engineering
New compensation scheme for adjacent area: The national government recently pass community support program. The compensation only applies to the residence within a 5km range of the project. The new compensate scheme helps to compensate even the communities which are located 10 or 50km from the offshore wind side. Because South Korea did not have offshore wind project, so there are a lot of changes in the regulation and a lot of policy debate.
Potential synergy with hydrogen industry (There is some R&D project in the UK to use power from offshore wind for generating hydrogen. There is no project in SK at the moment (because there are no offshore wind projects yet), but this would certainly be one of the focus areas in the long-run.)
Key challenges of wind market in South Korea:
Offshore wind market:
Complicated permit process and regulatory hurdles (e.g. Marine Spatial Planning)
Opposition from fishery industry
Adequate level of support (depend on individual local governments and political environment)
Uncertainties in RPS implementation rules
Quasi local content requirement in procurement process by state owned companies (e.g. turbine)
Onshore wind market:
REC price decreased in the last two or three years, which lead projects are difficult to make profit. In addition, rotors and generators are bigger and bigger.
Foreign OEMs are challenged for local contents and production in Korea
Project delay (Major project delays due to permitting process):
1. Project owners struggle w/ PPA price
2. Local Gov’t restricting permits
3. EIA approval
4. Waiting grid capacity to open up (min. 6 month ~ 2 years)
Recommended areas for development:
Shortening the Certification Process:
Turbine OEM Standard process: New Turbine Technology → Global IEC Type Certification → Official Launch of the new technology Cannot Receive REC in Korea
Certification in Korea：New Turbine Technology → Korea Energy Agency (KEA) Certification → Official Launch of the new technology 1.0 REC for Onshore Wind project
Differences between KEA certification and Global IEC Type Certification:
Extra costs for OEMs -> Higher WTG price
Longer duration compares to Global IEC Type Certificate (6~8 month longer)
Limited accredited certification bodies