Ørsted Reveals Offshore Wind Plans in South Korea

Offshore Wind Farms Could Spark EUR 65 Billion Economic Boom in South Korea – Report

The construction of offshore wind farms could introduce over 770,000 job opportunities and contribute 87 trillion won (approximately EUR 65 billion) worth of investments into the economy, according to two reports from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

GWEC’s new reports reveal that offshore wind development supports local economic growth, especially in strategic coastal cities such as Incheon, Gunsan, and Mokpo.

However, so far only 150 MW of its 14.3 GW offshore wind target have been delivered with slow permitting holding offshore wind back, GWEC said.

To realise the economic benefits set out in this report, streamlining of currently lengthy permitting processes, which typically take up to 10 years, must take place, according to GWEC.

The reports that GWEC released are action-focused – offering guidance on how to build support for offshore wind in local communities and with the fisheries industry.

The reports showcase successful international practices and recommend the passing and implementation of the Offshore Wind Power Promotion Act which is expected to streamline permitting processes to ensure the smooth rollout of offshore wind in South Korea, the organisation said.

The report “How Offshore Wind Development Can Support Coastal Regeneration” outlined the economic benefits local cities could derive from offshore wind. Some of them include over 770,000 jobs in offshore wind across the value chain at different skill levels and an economic investment of approximately 87 trillion won from offshore wind project construction over seven years.

The report recommends that working closely with industry, local and national governments should put in place a holistic plan to seize the benefits of offshore wind.

Additionally, GWEC encourages the national government to explore increasing the number of Free Economic Zones, develop standardised community engagement guidelines, and continue to provide incentivization mechanisms to facilitate the growth of the offshore wind industry and promote regional economic development.

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The second report, titled, “Exploring Coexistence Opportunities for Offshore Wind and Fisheries in South Korea”, maps out practical steps that can be taken by industry, local, and national governments to enable offshore wind development to cohabit with fishing activities in a mutually beneficial way, said GWEC.

“Fishermen worry about the potential loss of livelihood due to offshore wind development. However, It is possible for fisheries and offshore wind farms to coexist. There are success stories to draw from at an international level and even at home – in Incheon city, where a Government-led approach involving fishermen in site selection was well received,” said Cho Kong-jang, Director General of Sustainability Strategy Research Group, Korea Environment Institute.

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