South Korea

South Korea is lagging behind the world in clean electricity transition

Wind and solar accounted for just 5% of South Korea’s electricity production in 2021, up from 1% in 2016. Nuclear power was 26% of generation, with clean sources providing 36% of electricity. Fossil generation’s share fell marginally by two percentage points from 2016 to 2021, with coal and gas continuing to dominate the power sector

Slow wind and solar growth means South Korea’s clean electricity transition is well behind the rest of the world. Share of wind and solar in other Asian G20 countries like Japan (10%), China (11%) and India (8%) is much closer to the global average (10%)

As per the IEA, to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C, South Korea should phase out coal by 2030, fully decarbonise electricity by 2035 and become Net Zero by 2030. South Korea recently approved a bill mandating net-zero by 2050, but is yet to announce a coal phase-out plan.

Last updated: March 2022

Progress towards clean power targets
South Korea
2000–2040