EICN Seoul – Korea’s energy challenges: Safety, security and sustainability

Industrial giant South Korea’s energy market is still dominated by fossil fuels. Despite mammoth investment in renewables over the past few years, at the end of 2022 a little over 60% of the power capacity of state energy company KEPCO was from coal or liquefied natural gas, while only 2.4% came from renewable sources. Meanwhile, the administration of President Yoon Suk Yeol insists that in order to meet its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, South Korea must maintain nuclear power generation at about a third of all electricity sources, overturning his predecessor’s plans to shutter existing nuclear plants. Mr Yoon is even contemplating building new fission reactors.

Explanations for Korea’s low renewables output fall broadly into three types. One is geographical limitations: a lack of flat land for solar panels and deep ocean shelves that make it relatively hard to install offshore wind turbines. The second is inertia stemming from a lack of will and urgency to turn away from a system that works well to one that still lacks necessary investment and buy-in. And the third is cost: renewables and their infrastructure are still more expensive than fossil fuels and existing nuclear output. One thing is clear: as it moves into high-tech and service industries, South Korea’s energy demands will grow, not fall in the coming decade.

What are the latest developments in South Korea’s race toward seemingly unreachable zero-carbon goals? What awaits the industrial sector and consumers if energy prices remain high amidst shy economic growth? What mix of industrial policy and subsidies could help? What are the implications for businesses, or indeed the opportunities, as South Korea tries to find alternatives to its energy conundrum? Join us to engage with experts on the technical, bureaucratic, and corporate challenges of South Korea’s energy reality.


Jacco Zwetsloot

Network Moderator, Seoul at Economist Intelligence Corporate Network

David Taeseung Yoo

Co-CEO of Copenhagen Offshore Partners

Rachel Morarjee

Senior Network Advisor at Economist Intelligence Corporate Network

Kyung Nam Shin

General and Head at Global Green Growth Institute

Ricky Sangrok Kim

Country Head Representative at Glenfarne

Ho-Mu Lee

Senior Research Fellow at Korea Energy Economics Institute


07:30 – 08:00 Registration and Networking

08:00 – 09:30 Panel discussion and Q&A

Event details


Conrad Seoul

10 Gukjegeumyung-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu,
Seoul, South Korea

Meeting room details will be shared upon successfull registration


If you have any questions about this event, or joining our Seoul network please send an email to eicn_northasia@economist.com.

Request to attend

Our events are typically closed-door and reserved for members only. As such, please note that guest spaces are extremely limited and subject to availability and suitability. To request to attend this event, please fill out the form below and a member of our staff will be in contact with you shortly.