South Korea has announced it will be spending as much as $40b on the construction of the world’s largest wind farm, with the floating offshore farm set to be completed by the turn of the decade.
The country says that this wind farm will be unique for two reasons, not only will it be the largest wind farm in the world, it will also be the world’s largest wind farm that floats on the ocean’s surface.
It comes just months after the Korean government announced plans for an 8-gigawatt wind farm on its south-west coast, with plans for more than 14-gigawatts of renewable energy generation upon completion.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In has said that the most recent project will result in the creation of more than 210,000 jobs within the country, and has pledged more than $40b of investment to create the world’s largest floating wind farm.
The planned output of the wind farm is more than 6-gigawatts, which the South Korean government says will be enough to power more than 5.8 million homes, and save more than 9 million tonnes of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere each year.
Interestingly, South Korea has planned the site of this wind farm specifically to replace the Donghae 1 gas field, off the Uslan coast, which is scheduled to wrap up operations in the next twelve-months.
“The sea winds are like a carbon-free 21st century oil resource,” says South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-In, likening it to a “shortcut” for Korea to meet its environmental goals in the near future.
“Uslan will leap forward from the industrial capital of the fossil fuel era to the industrial capital of the clean energy era… Uslan’s floating offshore wind farms will become oil fields on the sea and open the future of an energy powerhouse.”
South Korea Spending $40b on World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm
The government says that some of the 8.2-gigawatts of electricity produced at the site will be used to power an electrolyser, which is the most common means of creating hydrogen. An electrolyser splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, where the hydrogen can be captured and stored for later use.
The technology is incredibly energy-intensive, though. However, with Korea’s plan to power the electrolyser with power generated at its wind farm, it looks set to be one of the major producers of clean-sourced hydrogen fuel which can be used in a number of industries.
South Korea says that more than 84,000 tonnes of green hydrogen could be produced with its electrolyser each year.
As it stands, more than 40% of South Korea’s energy needs are being met by fossil fuels like coal-fired power plants, which the country says are unfeasible in terms of their carbon emissions.
South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy has reiterated its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, and says it hopes to become one of the globe’s five largest producers of clean-sourced, renewable energy as a result of its massive investment in wind power.
Earlier this year, President Moon said his government would stop any public financing for new coal-fired power plants both domestically and overseas.