December 19, 2017 / 9:03 PM / a month ago

S.Korea to increase solar power generation by five times by 2030

* Renewable sources to provide one-fifth of energy needs by 2030

* President Moon pledged to cut reliance on nuclear power

* One out of 30 homes to be equipped with solar power by 2022

By Joyce Lee

SEOUL, Dec 20 (Reuters) - South Korea said on Wednesday it plans to increase its solar-generated power by five times current amounts by 2030 to boost use of renewable sources in the nation’s energy mix.

Since President Moon Jae-in came to power in May on a platform of cutting South Korea’s reliance on nuclear power, his government has torn up plans to build six more reactors in favour of “eco-friendly” energy sources.

The world’s fifth-biggest nuclear energy user currently operates 24 nuclear reactors that generate about a third of its total electricity needs.

“We will fundamentally change the way renewable energy is developed by creating an environment where the public can easily participate in the renewable energy business,” said Paik Un-gyu, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy.

South Korea plans to provide a fifth of the country’s total amount of electricity from renewable energy by 2030, up from 7 percent in 2016.

To meet that goal, it plans to add 30.8 gigawatts of solar power generating capacity and 16.5 gigawatts of wind power capacity by 2030.

As of 2017, South Korea has 5.7 gigawatts of generating capacity from solar power and 1.2 gigawatts from wind power.

The additional capacity will come from major projects, as well as by converting individual households, farms and small businesses to renewable energy, the ministry said.

South Korea aims to have one out of 30 households equipped with solar power generation by 2022, the ministry said, and to emphasize renewable energy projects with generating capacity of about 5 gigawatts between 2018 to 2022. (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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