Strategies for Coal Transition in Korea

Photo of Factory chimney smoke

About this report

This report was commissioned by Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and carried out jointly by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Korea Energy Economics Institute. The objective of the study was to provide high-level policy recommendations on Korea’s clean energy transition from coal in the power sector. The report covers a detailed review of policy and market developments around Korea’s transition to net zero. The scope of the report includes all sectors of the economy, industry and all the regions across the world, where we extract the main recommendations that are applicable to the case of Korea.

Currently, the power sector is the largest CO2-emitting sector and coal is the single biggest source of CO2 emissions, as it is the backbone of many electricity systems. Thus, coal power plants have been a target for reaching net zero emissions by 2050 for long time. Korea has firm objectives to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, aiming to accelerate the clean energy transition of coal power plants. Policy recommendations were formulated around two priorities: affordable and secure supply of electricity and people-centred transition.