South Korea will keep the electricity reserve rate at 22 percent in 2031, the same estimated two years ago, as the government's push for renewable energy needs back up facilities for a stable power supply, a panel said Friday.
A government working group to outline the power supply plan for 2017-2030 said that it tentatively determined the reasonable electricity reserve rate at 22 percent in 2031.
The detailed figure comes after the expert panel last month determined the reasonable electricity reserve rate to be 20-22 percent in the cited year.
A 1 percentage-point drop in the reserve rate can allow the government not to build a power plant with a capacity of 1 gigawatt.
The panel said the reserve rate was calculated taking into consideration the government's plan to increase the use of renewable energy to 20 percent by 2030.
Currently, 24 nuclear reactors generate about 30 percent of the nation's electricity and coal power plants and liquefied natural gas supplies the rest.
"If renewable energy produces 20 percent of the total power production by 2030, its supply will have to be complemented intermittently," the panel said in a report. "The government should secure backup facilities as soon as possible, including pumped storage power plants that can control power and liquefied natural gas plants that can solely operate gas turbines."
The energy plan, which is closely related to the number of new power plants, has been closely watched as the Moon Jae-in administration has pledged to stop building new nuclear plants and phase out aged reactors.
Last month, the government temporarily halted construction of two nuclear reactors on the southeast coast for public opinion gathering. What will be done with the unfinished reactors will be announced in late October. (Yonhap News)