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South Korea to build 'control tower' to manage renewable energy drive

Staff Writer |
South Korea will establish a centralized "control tower" to manage its renewable energy policies and prepare backup facilities for solar and wind power plants for stable power supply, a government panel said.

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The government plans to increase the ratio of renewable energy from the current 1.9 percent to 20 percent by 2030, with details on how to reach the target to be included in the energy road map to be announced within this year.

For efficient management of energy demand and supply, the government will establish a pilot program for the renewable energy control tower in the coming months and test its ability to manage the power supply in the next two years, with a goal of full operation in 2020, a panel working on the broad energy road map said.

Under the program, power providers will have to submit their estimated electricity output based on the weather forecast to allow the control center to regulate energy supply and demand.

"The government needs the control tower to expect, assess and manage renewable energy's power production," the group said.

The group also called for increased investment in backup facilities for intermittent complementation in case of bad weather and other issues, recommending pumped storage power plants that can control power and liquefied natural gas plants that can solely operate gas turbines.

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