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korean wind power

Monday 18 May, 2009

I checked out this presentation by the Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency KOREA – U.S. WIND POWER BUSINESS FORUM.  Jeff Anthony of the American Wind Energy Association made a presentation essentially to the Koreans on the status of wind as an energy source in the U.S.   The US government goal is to reach 20% renewable power sources by 2030.  Representatives from Hyundai & Hydrogen Power Co. from Korea also made presentations on what their companies are doing with wind power in Korea & world-wide.  Sunny Kim of the Chicago Korean Trade & Investment office made a presentation on Korea for the Americans in the audience.  Here are a few tidbits from their talks:

  • The US is the #1 investor in South Korea in terms of Foreign Direct Investment with $28.4B by 15,000 companies.
  • Korea is the #1 manufacturer of semiconductors.
  • Korea still depends on imports for energy.
  • As a basis of comparison, Denmark gets 14.6% of its power from wind.  Korea only gets 1.4% from wind.
  • 2.37% of its power comes from renewable sources, & 77% of that is from recycling waste.
  • Korea has built 12 wind farms/power plants since 1999 & their governmental policy sets a goal of 11% renewable power to be generated by the year 2030.
  • Other renewable goals are 2 1/2% by 2008 & 20% by 2050.
  • 228 wind turbines have been installed while 1630 are planned.

My take-The Koreans seem to be more realistic in their goals for renewable & wind energy.  While it’s great to set high goals, setting goals which are unreachable doesn’t make sense to me.  I think it better to set attainable goals & reach them with intermittent benchmarks rather than set high goals & then be disappointed when they’re not attained.

A few other tidpits from the WindPower show @ McCormick Place:

  • while I’m sure there’s a lot of technology which goes into wind turbines, etc. there were relatively few computer software companies exhibiting, less than 50 out of 1200+ exhibitors.
  • while the midwest was well-represented, no doubt due to its abundant wind resources, Chicago & Illinois were not, with only about 80 total exhibitors.   They were also old school companies, in that no more than a handful offered any apparent new technologies.
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