Since the Moon Jae-in administration launched in 2017, South Korea’s nuclear phase-out policy has begun to take shape. The Korean Energy Information Agency explains the process of a democratic energy transition, and how citizen concerns are being addressed.
South Koreans are more concerned with air pollution than with North Korea’s nuclear weapons – and with good reason. On some days in Seoul, the air is too full of fine particles to go outside. While some blame China, about half of Korean pollution is from diesel cars and coal plants. Yi hyun Kang looks at what can be done.
The new third generation (EPR) nuclear reactor is being built in France and Finland and is also proposed in the UK. A similar design went into operation in South Korea in December 2016 – but it remains the only one running commercially worldwide. That could change soon, however, as Craig Morris explains.
President Moon wants South Korea to begin scaling down nuclear energy, but a citizen committee supports maintaining the share of nuclear energy in the energy mix. Nevertheless, grassroots renewable energy movements are growing. Yi hyun Kang looks at the latest from the Korean energy sector.
In the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), renewables contributed 8% to final energy consumption in 2014. Since then, the share renewable energy has only slightly increased whereas fossil fuel-powered generation is the main source for new power plants. Lars Blume and Nguyen Thi Hang illustrate why momentum in Southeast Asia is changing.
Word is out that Taiwan has attracted $60 billion in foreign capital commitments to renewable-energy projects, adding to the fast-gathering momentum around the electricity sector transition taking deep root across Asia. Tim Buckley takes a look at the impact on coal.
The decision to go ahead with Hinkley shows that any technology with a long timeframe is a juggernaut in an energy world of foreshortening planning horizons. But other questions remain open: can an EPR be built at all? Why is new nuclear cheaper outside the UK? And isn’t Hinkley at least a good low-carbon complement to wind and solar? Craig Morris takes a look.
South Africa has the only nuclear power station on the continent. Now, the second biggest economy in Africa, and the most carbon polluting, plans to add another six or eight to the fold. But the cost could run into the trillions – larger, even, than the annual national budget, explains SA-based science writer Leonie Joubert.