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South Korea’s Coal Generators Close for Winter

Posted on 31 December 2019

In an effort to cut air pollution, South Korea is shutting down up to a quarter of its coal generators for three months over winter. 

Between eight and 15 coal generators will be closed, with the rest operating at a maximum capacity of 80%. This is the first time South Korea has closed down coal generators over winter. The country hopes that the move will result in a 44% reduction in fine dust emissions. 

South Korea has some of the worst air quality among OECD countries (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which has 36 member countries). Factories, car exhausts and coal heating are largely responsible, but some also blame the fact that emissions are blown across from China.  

Nearly half of South Korea’s energy is produced from coal, with just 2% generated from renewable sources. The South Korean government has promised to move away from coal in order to cut emissions.