South Korean C&I, Residential Consumers to Buy Renewables as part of RE100 Initiative

South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) has announced that it would allow domestic electricity consumers to purchase electricity from renewable sources as part of the RE100 initiative.

RE 100 is a global initiative by companies committed to using 100% renewable energy. The initiative had brought around 140 multinational companies together to fight climate change so far. Currently, the initiative has over 280 members.

Both industrial and general electricity consumers can participate in the K-RE100 (Korea- RE100) system through registration at the state-run Korea Energy Agency. Electricity from renewable sources will be procured through a green premium system, third party power purchase agreement (PPA), purchase of renewable energy certificates (REC), or self-generation.

By participating in the K-RE100 system, the companies will be recognized for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Ministry of Environment is revising relevant guidelines on detailed energy sources and reducing emissions. Moreover, the government will prepare various support measures to promote renewable energy use.

According to MOTIE, when renewable energy is becoming a necessity, the K-RE100 system is expected to strengthen domestic companies’ global competitiveness further and accelerate the energy transition.

Last year, the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, declared that South Korea would become carbon-neutral by 2050. In his speech in the national assembly of South Korea, Moon Jae-in said that 8 trillion Korean Won (KRW) (~$7.06 billion) had been invested in the Green New Deal to tackle the climate change crisis.

Recently, SK Group, South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate, including SK Holdings, SK Telecom, SK Hynix, SKC, SK Materials, and SK Siltron joined the RE100 initiative. These companies together cover a range of industries including chip manufacturing, chemicals and bio-pharmacy, and telecommunications. Together they have an enormous electricity demand of over 31 terawatts per year which is equivalent to over 5% of South Korea’s electricity use. SK Holdings is aiming to power its operations with 100% renewable power by 2030, while SK Hynix and the other companies are targeting 2050.

The Korean Society for New and Renewable Energy (KSNRE), a non-profit organization registered under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy) is working towards creating awareness about renewable energy. KSNRE is the campaign partner for RE100 in the Republic of Korea, providing information to companies about the benefits of RE100 and supporting the interests of Korean and international RE100 members locally.