South Korea, the world’s second-largest buyer ofliquefied-natural-gas after Japan and fifth leading oil importer, plansto increase investment in renewable resources by 24% this year, to 1trillion won (US$890 million) from 808.4 billion won last year,according to an e-mailed statement issued by the Ministry of KnowledgeEconomy (this past October, the South Korean government said it wouldinject some $35 billion into the public and private sectors by 2015 toboost renewables).
The government’s infusion of cash into clean energy projects andfinancing will be used for testing and development of solar and wind power facilities, in an effort to beef up the energy industry and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy and one of the fastest-growingpolluters on the planet, South Korea has redoubled its efforts totransition away from its heavy reliance on fossil fuels by increasingspending on green energy. Korean companies, meanwhile, have stepped up renewable projects and overseas acquisitions of both cleantech companies and conventional gas and oil producers to meet ever-rising energy demand.
South Korea also plans to raise energy-related loan guarantees andextend financial incentives and tax benefits to companies pursinginternational energy development projects.
While the state-run Korean National Oil Corporation (KNOC) is pouring billions into increasing its crude-oil and natural-gas productioncapacity—by purchasing foreign assets and expanding explorationactivities—public multinationals like Samsung are establishing a foothold in green-friendly places like Ontario, Canada.