Carbon Dioxide Emission and Carbon Capture & Storage in South Korea
South Korea is the 9th largest Co2 emitter in the world.
South Korea experienced a growth in fossil – fuel Co2 emissions with an average annual growth rate of 11.5% from 1946-1997. Coal consumption accounts for 43.5% of South Korea’s fossil fuel Co2 emissions.
Since South Korea is the world’s 5th largest importer of crude oil, oil consumption has been a major reason for Co2 emissions since late 1960’s. Then natural gas became the major source for emission of Co2, as it increased the imports of liquid natural gas in 1987.
Due to the reduced production of secondary petroleum fuels and reduced imports of crude oil South Korea’s emissions fell 14.7% from 1997-1998. Since 1998, fossil fuel emissions have risen 37.7% and in 2007 it reached an ever time high of 137 million metric tonnes of Co2. Now South Korea emits about 514 million metric tons of Co2 and it is Asia’s fourth biggest polluter.
South Korea (1.4 percent per year) is the only OECD country other than Mexico for which average emissions growth exceeds 1 percent per year. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy reported that South Korea’s per capita Co2 output of 10.1 tons ranked it 23rd place word wide, up from 25th place in 2006.
South Korea is the 2nd largest importer of coal worldwide after Japan. Coal – fired power supplies about quarter of South Korea’s energy needs.
South Korea is expected to produce 813 million metric tons of Co2 in 2020, but the South Korean Government decided to adopt three scenarios to reduce emissions by 30 percent in 2020.
In 2010, South Korean Government said that total public and private investment in carbon capture and sequestration would reach about 2.3 trillion won ($1.92 billion) in 2019.
It also announced plans to begin commercial operation of two carbon capture and storage plants by 2020.
The Korean government projected that CCS industry will create a market worth 550 trillion won globally over the next two decades. In Korea, it is expected to generate more than 120,000 jobs by 2030 and bring about $8 billion worth of output, the government said. The nation’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy will begin development of two 100 MW carbon capture demonstration projects in 2014.
According to a News paper report in February 2011, South Korea will start carbon emission trading scheme in January 2015. According to the report, introduction of the cap-and-trade was originally planned for January 2013 but recently has been pushed back two years to January 2015. However, the latest attempt by Government is likely to still face a strong opposition from the business community as they claim that adoption of the system may hurt their competitiveness. South Korean conglomerates have strongly opposed the plan as its competitor countries, such as the U.S. and Japan, have delayed their emissions trading plans.
In March 2010, testing began on a carbon capture pilot facility at a 0.5 MW coal – fired thermal power unit in Hadong run by Korea Southern Power Co. The possibility of underground carbon storage is still uncertain in South Korea. The Government plans to develop technology to recycle carbon if large scale carbon storage is not viable.
Korea’s top energy, steel and engineering firms launched an organization in November 2010 to promote carbon capture and storage. This association consists of 20 companies and is chaired by Korea Electric power corporation president King Ssang – su. The technology involves capturing Carbon dioxide from power plants and other industrial facilities using coal and gas and then compressing and storing it underground or under the seabed. This association will support research & development, facilitate planning and assessment of pilot projects and promote international cooperation in technology exchanges.