While many countries look to drive their economies by increasing trade and consumer spending, South Korea is looking in another direction. Renewable energy sources and projects are being used to boost business and promote economic growth in South Korea. The term “Green Growth” has been coined by the country and has become a major national strategy. This strategy has given rise to a vast range of policies regarding waste-management and air-quality control. However, South Korea’s main focus lies within renewable energy technologies with the mission not only to lower greenhouse gas emissions but to also boost the economy.
South Korea may be considered relatively late to the green technology market with Europe and China being the leading producers of green technologies over the past several years. Nonetheless, companies in South Korea are beginning to manufacture green technology including wind turbines. These wind turbines are being used domestically in wind farms along the country’s coast and can produce an impressive 240 megawatts of electricity each year. However with South Korea being an export-driven country, its main goal is to export these wind turbines and other green technologies to international markets overseas. One South Korean company is even setting up a factory in China in order to compete for a greater share of the turbine market in Asia. The government has set an ambitious goal of acquiring 10 percent of the global market in renewable technologies by 2020.
South Korea has a lot of work ahead of itself if it wants to accomplish this goal as it is running into many challenges. A large part of this challenge is the lack of space to showcase and test their green technology products such as wind turbines. South Korean companies are also having a hard time attracting customers from the domestic market. However with that being said, this provides a great opportunity. South Korean green technologies can focus on exporting their products abroad if the domestic market is lacking demand. The government is trying to boost domestic demand to by requiring all companies to generate 2 percent of their energy from renewable sources by next year. This figures goes up to 10 percent by the year 2022.
South Korea has made significant strides in implementing renewable energy sources and will try to encourage other countries to do the same by exporting their green technologies. By 2030, South Korea has pledged that 11 percent of its total energy will come from renewable sources. Using green technology growth to boost the economy is a relatively new strategy being implemented by South Korea. Down the road, it will be interesting to see if the strategy proves to be successful and if other countries will follow South Korea’s lead.