South Korea to Build Massive Offshore Wind Farm

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The South Korean government will help fund construction of a massive offshore wind farm that proponents say would generate about 2,500 megawatts of electricity and give the Asian nation a foothold in the emerging renewable energy industry.

The 9.2 trillion won project ($8.2 billion), which proponents hope to complete by 2019, would be built in the waters off the southwestern coast.

Major South Korean companies — such as Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering — will reportedly build the 500 turbines. The government will coordinate the project and provide about 29 billion won.

In South Korea, Asia’s fourth-biggest oil importer, officials see the initiative as a step toward reducing the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels. “Considering the small size of our land, offshore wind farms… are far more promising sources of energy than onshore wind farms,” the Knowledge Economy Ministry said in a statement.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.