Reduce a nuclear power plant plan

Date 2017-07-05 Category Environment Updater ssunha
Last Update

Policy Overview

'One Less Nuclear Power Plant' is a campaign with the symbolic slogan to save energy and produce more from renewable sources so as to spare one nuclear power unit. It aims to enhance energy self-sufficiency and ensure safe, sustainable energy that will ultimately lead to less greenhouse gas emissions.


Background Information

- Seoul's energy self-sufficiency rate standing at a mere 2.8%

Seoul annually consumes 46,903GWh of electricity accounting for 10.3 percent of the nation's entire consumption. Although it is steadily growing, only about 1,396GWh of electricity is generatd making the city's electricity sufficiency rate stand at a mere 2.8%. Additionally, renewable energy production represents only 1.5% of the total. It is considerable lower than other countries such as Japan(11.2%), the U.K.(10%) and the U.S.A(12.5%), making the city vulnerable to a potential energy crisis. In particular, the energy consumption that had been stagnant until 2009 saw a 4.4% increase and 1.4% decrease respectively in 2010 and 2011. The need for managing energy demand has grown due to the recent oil price hikes as well.

- Public concerns growing after the Fukushima nuclear accident

After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, calls for action by those opposed to nuclear energy are rising amid growing concerns over the safety of nuclear energy. Nuclear power is an inexpensive and effective source of energy, but as seen from the Fukushim accident, once any problem occurs it is accompanied by enomous sacrifices and social costs. Therefore, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has strived to reduce dependence on nuclear energy by devising sustainable and eco-friendly energy policies.

- Intensifying climate change with global warming

Ninety percent of greenhouse gases, the main culprit of global warming, are emitted by generating and consuming energy. With the goal of cooling off the planet and making Seoul healthier and safer for future generations, the ciy has launched the 'One Less Power Plant' projec, aimed to save a total of 2 million TOE of energy by 2014.

Goals and Objectives

  • To enhance energy independence in case of an electricity crisis
  • To secure a supply of safe and sustainable energy
  • To save 2 million TOE of energy by cutting energy demand and expanding production


- Total project costs : KRW 3.24 trillion (Unit: KRW 100 million)


Classification    Sum 2012 2013 2014
Total 32,444 8,098 11,555 12,791
National expense 2,321 518 748 1,055
2,761 470 996 1,295
2,662 438 1,027 1.197
Fund 943 267 299 377
Inducement of
Private investment
23,757 6,405 8,485 8,867

- Investment plan per sector

Classification    Sum 2012 2013 2014
Total 32,444 8,098 11,555 12,791
Expansion of new and renewable energy production 27,355 7,000 9,860 10.495
Improvement of energy efficiency in buildings 3,324 595 1,0365 1,693
Establishment of eco friendly& highly efficient transportation system 970 273 355 342
Job creation in green energy sector 240 65 86 89
Remodeling of urban special structure for low –energy consumption 81 10 41 30
Creation of civil culture for low-energy consumption 474 155 177 142

- Revisions of related laws and regulations
As office buildings are considered heavy energy consumers, the city enacted the ‘Green Design Standards for Building’ and expanded the scope to raise effectiveness of energy-saving efforts. This imposed a bigger quota of compulsory renewable energy production on new buildings and helped them shift to less energy -consuming structures. (March 2013).
Meanwhile, to improve energy-efficiency of existing buildings, the Building Retrofit Program (BRP) was enforced and gradually expanded. Additionally, the Construction Technology Review Standard on Public Buildings came into force in May 2013 to promote energy-saving design in construction projects led by the public sector.

Policy implementation and expertise

- Eleven Energy-independent Villages with the participation of local residents
By installing photovoltaic power stations all over the city, Seoul emerged as "a city powered by sunlight" and "a city running on sunlight." To this end, the city has erected solar power panels with a total capacity of 290MW on rooftops of many public, school, and commercial buildings.
Meanwhile, local communities and cooperative associations, along with power producers and nonprofit foundations, built 30MW of sharing solar plants in public facilities and the profits out of the operation is used to finance welfare works.
- Higher energy-efficiency in 24,000 buildings and replacement of 1.7 million lights with LED lights
Of the city’s annual energy consumption 46,903GWh, households and service industry account for 88 percent. Thus, the city has carried out the Building Retrofit Project (BRP) for buildings that heavily consume energy. This has helped to prevent energy leakage and realize the "Smart Lighting City" by expanding supply of LED lights to multi-use facilities.


- Eco-Mileage; an Energy-saving program led by voluntary participation of its citizens, with members exceeding 1.4 million
With the goal of saving 2 million TOE of energy, voluntary participation of households and commercial facilities has become more important.  Currently, more than 36% of the city’s 4.2 million households take part in the Eco-Mileage program. In order to support the members in saving energy, the city expanded places where members can use the mileage such as traditional market certificates, apartment maintenance expenses and local taxes. At the same time, it improved its web site and computing system to provide more detailed information regarding energy-saving. Since the introduction of these measures, 300,000 TOE of energy has been saved so far. It is equivalent to the energy that can run 370,000 units of cars for a year, which translates into approximately KRW 239 billion.

Conflict Management: Mediation and Resolution

- Geographical Limit: Unfavorable conditions to produce new and renewable energy; Densely populated urban spaces and weak wind velocity, etc.
As there are many high-rise buildings in Seoul, it is difficult to install solar power generation facilities and wind power generation is not easy either as the average wind velocity stands at a mere 2.44 m/s because of the mountains surrounding three sides of the city, except for the west. Additionally, most of the rivers and streams are dried up, except during the monsoon season, making it impossible to utilize hydro-power.
☞ To overcome these limitations, the city government decided to construct photovoltaic power stations and fuel cell power stations in public spaces such as subway car depots, sewage treatment centers, etc.

- Limitations imposed by lack of awareness: Lack of civic awareness and inactive participation
One key component of the One Less Nuclear Power Plant campaign is the Building Retrofit Project. As it costs much, however, public participation was low. Although many citizens agree with the intent of the energy-saving project, tangible outcomes were difficult to achieve as most citizens were unaware of what practical action to take.
☞ Therefore, the city raised funds to finance the BRP project and provide low- interest loans at an annual lending rate of 1.75% insuring easier access for citizens. It also trained a human resource pool of 50,000 such as Energy Consultants, Green leaders, Seoul Energy Designers and th Energy Guardian Angels, aimed at promoting practical ways to save energy among citizens and helping to put them into practice.

Outcomes and Evaluation

- Energy-saving effects
The One Less Nuclear Power Plant project has succeeded in saving 1.64 million TOE of energy as of March 2014 marking an 82% progress rate and is expected to accomplish the originally planned 2 million TOE by the first half of 2014.
The achievement is the result of concerted cooperation and concentrated capabilities among citizens, business and public organizations. In particular, it is largely attributed to the citizen – led energy saving efforts that saved 840,000 TOE exceeding the target 730,000 TOE.
- Produced 410,000 TOE of New and Renewable Energy

As for the production of new and renewable energy, the progress has been somewhat lagging behind the target due to Seoul’s special characteristics of dense population and lack of natural energy resources. However, all possible efforts are being made to offset these limitations e.g. by creating energy-independent communities.
- Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 7.33 million tons of CO2
As of 2014, the emissions reduction stands at 7.33 million tons of CO2, which accounts for 15% of the carbon that was emitted in 2009, 49.11 million tons of CO2. Consequent economic benefits are expected to be around approximately 22.9 billion KRW and it translates into forestation of 7,330㎢, which is 1,629 times the area of Yeouido (4.5㎢)

Total New& renewable energy production Electricity Oil Gas
Electricity Thermal
7.33 mil tons 1.08 mil 0.47 mil 3.19 mil 1.32 mil 1.28 mil
GHG emission factor(Tons  of CO2) 0.4524/MWh 2.336/TOE 0.4716/MWh 2.871/TOE 2.336/TOE

- Created jobs in related industries: 40,000 are newly employed
The One Less Nuclear Power Plant campaign is considered to have contributed to raising citizens' welfare standards by nurturing start-ups by young entrepreneurs helping alleviate the youth unemployment rate and discovering and supporting promising social enterprises.

Total New& renewable energy production Energy efficiency for building sector (BRP, LED, etc.) High –efficiency transportation system and low- energy consumption
40,000 34,000 4,000 2,000
Employment inducement coefficient 14.5 13.5 Transport 17.7/
 Low-consumption 10


Programs of the One Less Power Plant project are applicable elsewhere although the outcomes may differ depending on regional and geographical circumstances. Particularly, projects regarding renewable energy generation, if introduced elsewhere, will likely produce better results than Seoul. Programs to raise efficiency and save consumption will be able to be applied nationwide as the success depends on the level of commitment of the citizens.


The project is also significant as it proposes a meaningful policy model for local provincial governments with limited authority over legislation and funding. Notably, the Eco-Mileage project is being studied and shared among domestic local governments and foreign city networks as an exemplary case of multi-functional projects that helps both energy-saving and carbon-emission reduction.

Department / Contact

  • International Relations Division  /  82-2-2133-5376  /  international@seoul.go.kr
  • Megacity Research Center  /  82-2-2149-1418  /  simrc@si.re.kr