Solar energy and wind power will be strategic industries leading Korea's economy, with the government deciding to invest W40 trillion in the renewable energy field by 2015 in partnership with the private sector so they can take the place in the nation's economy semiconductors and shipbuilding had in the past (US$1=W1,122).
The plan was announced in the ninth meeting of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth chaired by President Lee Myung-bak on Wednesday. Korea has lost the head-start in the solar and wind energy market to advanced economies and China, so the government devised a plan to catch up through huge investment.
The government will invest W7 trillion and the private sector W33 trillion over the next five years in new renewable energy to make it the main export industry for the next generation. About W1.5 trillion will be spent on developing 10 major original technologies such as thin film solar cells, and another W1 trillion on localizing technologies to make parts, material and equipment for wind power production.
The government also plans to nurture 50 globally competitive firms in the renewable energy sector that it sees as capable of reaching exports of over US$100 million a year. It aims to expand exports to US$36.2 billion a year, increasing Korea’s global market share in the renewable energy market from 4-14 percent to over 15 percent.