S. Korea’s Power Utilities Pledge to Raise Renewables Portfolios

South Korea’s 13 power utilities pledged to increase the use of renewable sources for electricity generation as the government plans an alternative-energy quota in 2012 to reduce emissions.

The generators signed contracts with the government to cooperate on meeting the mandatory quotas and to install renewable-energy power generators at all their sites by 2013, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in an e-mailed statement today.

The generators, each with more than 500 megawatts of capacity, include six units of state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEP), Posco Power Corp., GS Power Co. and Korea District Heating Corp. Korea Energy Management Corp. will provide technical and other aid as an accredited approval organization for the renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, according to the statement.

The quota will increase investment in cleaner energy as South Korea’s government seeks to bolster the nation’s share of the world markets for solar and wind-power equipment to 15 percent of each by 2015. South Korea had 11 percent of the global solar market and 4 percent of the wind market in 2010, according to government data.

The quota for electricity generated by renewable sources will be raised to 10 percent in 2022 from 2 percent in 2012, the ministry said today. As current solar-energy technology is less economically viable, the government will impose separate energy quotas on those generators in the first five years to foster the industry, the ministry said.

South Korea announced a voluntary goal in December to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sangim Han in Seoul at sihan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net

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