ENABLING MAJOR NATIONAL SAVINGS THROUGH A NEW APPROACH TO SYSTEM SECURITY (SOUTH KOREA)


Enabling-major-national-savings

A healthy reserve capacity is essential to avoid power system blackouts. In South Korea, low investments together with an increasing demand have resulted in the reserve margin falling to very low levels, thus jeopardising system security. Currently, the thermal power plant fleet is kept on part load to provide spinning reserve of about 4 GW. But there is a more efficient, economic and sustainable way of handling a substantial part of this reserve (2.5 GW) by using highly flexible fast starting power plants.

INSTALLED BASE

Conventional thermal and nuclear power plants dominate electricity generation in South Korea. Coal fired power plants account for a little above 40 per cent of the generation, followed by nuclear with approximately 34 per cent. Natural gas accounts for some 19 per cent and oil just around two per cent. The generation share as of 2010 is illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Generation share in South Korea 2010 (based on produced GWh).

Electricity generation capacity in 2009 was about 80 GW and is expected to reach 88 GW by 2017. Nuclear energy will power most of this expansion in line with the government’s policy to improve energy security by reducing fuel imports.





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  Jukka-Pekka Niemi

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   Wärtsilä Energy Solutions
   
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