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Feasibility Trade-Offs in Decarbonisation of Power Sector with High Coal Dependence: A Case of Korea

Hyun, Minwoo / Cherp, Aleh / Jewell, Jessica / Kim, Yeong Jae / Eom, Jiyong

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Abstract

Decarbonisation of the power sector requires feasible strategies for rapid phase-out of fossil fuels and expansion of low-carbon sources. This study assesses the feasibility of plausible decarbonization scenarios of the power sector in the Republic of Korea through 2050 and 2060. The results from our power plant stock accounting model show that achieving zero emissions from the power sector by the mid-century requires either ambitious expansion of renewables backed by gas-fired generation equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) or significant expansion of nuclear power. The first strategy implies replicating and maintaining for decades maximum growth rates of solar power achieved in leading countries and becoming an early and ambitious adopter of the CCS technology. The alternative expansion of nuclear power has historical precedents in Korea and other countries but may not be acceptable in the current political and regulatory environment. Hence, our analysis shows the potential hurdles for decarbonisation in the power sector in Korea are formidable but manageable and should be overcome over the coming years, which give hope to other similar countries.

Issue Date
2021-10
Publisher
arxiv
Keywords
Decarbonisation; Power Sector; Policy Feasibility; Coal Phase-out; Nuclear Phase-out; Korea' s Carbon Neutrality
Pages
36
URI
https://archives.kdischool.ac.kr/handle/11125/43695
URL
https://ssrn.com/abstract=4139107
DOI
10.2139/ssrn.4139107
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