The South Korean government has begun planning the installation of up to 200 offshore wind turbines up to 5 MW of power each, local agencies reported, citing unidentified sources in the ministry of finance. In principle, the chosen site would be located twenty miles off southwest coast, in shallow waters of the Yellow Sea.

The first demonstration phase of this initiative would be launched in 2012 and consist of a dozen wind turbines. Then, this and other areas would be opened to the implementation of 900 MW, which the government hopes to begin installation in 2013, again according to local sources. The plan, the first phase of which could be ready this month, is part of the government’s strategy to reduce energy dependence from 50% now to around 30% in 2030, according to Yonhap news agency, which says, moreover, that the offshore wind plans could raise their goals to five gigawatts in 2019.

The Korean government has set a target to raise the renewable energy mix in the electrical system from 2.4% (figure for 2007) up to 4.3% in 2015, from 6.1% in 2020 and 15% in 2030. The total investment required is estimated at 75,000 million dollars. The government plans to cover a third of this amount to state aid, according to other sources consulted by renewable energy.

South Korea installed 86 MW of wind power in 2009, reaching a cumulative 364 MW, according to Wind Energy Association. One of the most recent facility has been promoted by the Spanish group Acciona, which connected to networks Korean wind farm Yeong Yang, of 61.5 MW at the end of 2009. According to Christian Kjaer, chief executive of the European Wind Energy Association, the wind industry the old continent “is facing fierce competition” in many countries around the world, including South Korea quoted (the other would be China, United States, Japan and India).

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