In accordance with the new government’s policy of weaning Korea off nuclear and coal-fired power, Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) is making inroads into new energy industries that have a significant effect of creating new markets and jobs.
The new government’s energy policies can be summed up as nuclear-zero, ushering in of an era of clean energy power generation, a rise in new and renewable energy in power generation, the building of an ecosystem for the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the overhauling of a tax system favorable for eco-friendly energies, and a shift in the industrial structure for efficient energy consumption. They also call for scrapping plans to build new nuclear power plants, banning the extension of old nuclear power units, and an energy paradigm’s shift from a supply-oriented policy to one on demand prediction and management.
The actuation of the Post-2020 Climate Change Regime follows the signing of a landmark deal on climate change in Paris in December 2015. Greenhouse gas emission reduction is now a global trend. Korea is required to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent from business-as-usual (BAU) levels. The Korean energy sector, which accounts for 38 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, needs to make concerted efforts to reduce emissions.
In order to solve theses tasks, KEPCO is concentrating on exploring new energy industries. To this end, KEPCO is focusing on the development of convergence business models among new energy industries by combining the conventional energy industry, the ICT-based automobile industry, other manufacturing industries and the financing and service industries. The convergence business models of the new energy industries, which will transform society, will have a synergetic effect of creating new markets and jobs. KEPCO aims to become a “smart energy creator” by providing efficient energy services with clean energy and ICT convergence power grid and creating new value. KEPCO has declared a vision of rising to a "value creator that enhances customers’ quality and builds an ecosystem of a sharing economy by going beyond being a power utilities company.
KEPCO is devoting itself to being reborn to lead the new energy market with a mission to come up with new business models, securing core technologies, and collaborating with SMEs to make joint market entries.
KEPCO is the nation’s largest public energy entity. The conventional power system is designed to generate additional reserves in an emergency scenario, taking into account the largest consumption amounts. The new energy industries aim to produce electricity corresponding to power needs and no additional reserves, creating an efficient, eco-friendly energy system that cause less greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, if projects to improve energy efficiencies see conventional structures use 10 percent less electricity, it will have an effect of substituting 10 nuclear power units.
As it comes to job creation, the supply of electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, smart gadgets and energy storage systems (ESS) will have spill-over effects on the whole of such industries as home appliances, automobiles and energy.
In 2016, KEPCO invested a combined 3.1 trillion won in building EV charging infrastructure and energy-independent island projects as part of efforts to set up an ecosystem of new energy industries. To this end, the company plans to set aside 8.3 trillion won by 2020 to contribute to the development of the national economy.
Starting June 2016, KEPCO began expanding charging stations catering to urban life and public housing consumers. The company plans to set up 300 charging stations with a focus on leading EV cities this year. KEPCO plans to promote the spread of EV charging infrastructure by setting up large-size charging stations for urban life in cooperation of large marts and KORAIL and implementing home charging projects for a maximum of 4,000 apartment complexes.
KEPCO aims to set up microgrids with wind power, photovoltaic power and energy storage systems to make five islands Geomun, Jo, Deokjeok islands energy-independent islets. The company plans to expand the energy-independence project on a continued fashion.