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Minister holds Pan-Ministerial Energy Efficiency Innovation Consultative Meeting 2023-03-16

Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang held the Pan-Ministerial Energy Efficiency Innovation Consultative Meeting on March 14 at the Government Complex Seoul with 13 other ministries related to energy efficiency and conservation.

The Korean government is recently focusing policy efforts on fundamentally reducing burden on companies and households caused by the protracted energy crisis, rising energy costs and high inflation.

The consultative meeting was held to gather pan-ministerial capacity and draw the nationwide public participation to accelerate the energy structure shift towards low consumption and high efficiency.

In his opening message, Minister Lee stated that the impact from the global energy crisis triggered by the Russian-Ukraine war is far-reaching, affecting trade balance, exchange rates and inflation and creating anxiety across the global market.

He added that although energy use has declined in industrial and transport sectors, commercial and household consumption have increased, showing that energy efficiency efforts still have room for improvement.

During the meeting, attendees discussed three major measures for expanding assistance in energy efficiency innovation and conservation.

The three major measures are as follows:

1)Spark an energy conservation boom nationwide

Pan-ministerial effort will go towards spreading a campaign that all citizens can put to practice and participate in easily.

The campaign includes “Save 1kWh per Day”, which citizens can carry out daily in accordance with the energy saving guideline. If each household saves 1kWh every day, that would translate into 20 million kWh saved each day nationwide. A four-person household can save KRW 7,530 by saving 30kWh each month.

Strong civilian participation is anticipated, led by 217 civic organizations, various committees and Energy Diet Supporters launched by MOTIE last year. The upcoming World Climate Industry Expo (May 25-27) in Busan is also expected to increase public participation even higher.

Each ministry will step up its respective energy efficiency innovation and conservation measures.

For instance, the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) and the Ministry of the Interior and Safety (MOIS) will be enlarging the share of energy reduction performance criteria in the management evaluation indices for public companies and institutes, as well as in local government joint assessments. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will develop a program for environment education related to energy saving in line with the elementary and middle school education curriculum.

2)Up Korea’s energy efficiency game

This calls for an extensive efficiency innovation spanning all sectors, ranging from industrial, building to transport.

The 30 energy-intensive companies that voluntarily entered the energy efficiency partnership agreement (KEEP 30) in 2022 will be assisted and managed in their efforts to implement the terms of agreement. SMEs and middle-market companies (KEEP+) that take the lead in efficiency innovation will be provided with an assistance package offering diagnosis, management and investment.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) will introduce a phased mandate for green remodeling across public sectors to promote efficiency innovation for buildings beginning in 2025.

In the transport sector, MOLIT is also seeking to establish a next-generation intelligent traffic network and widen the use of public transportation.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) will expand the distribution of equipment and systems for improving energy efficiency of ships, and MOTIE plans to introduce a fuel economy grade system for electric vehicles (EVs).

Likewise, each ministry will reinforce its efficiency innovation support program, including carbon neutral point incentives (Ministry of Environment) and carbon neutral smart factory establishment (Ministry of SMEs and Startups).

3)Provide the energy-vulnerable greater support in improving energy efficiency  

Policy assistance for small business owners, farmers, fishermen, “ppuri (root)” companies and low-income households will be strengthened via various incentive programs run by different ministries.

For example, the amount of carbon neutral points awarded by the Ministry of Environment (ME) for commercial facilities will be increased to four times as much as those distributed to individual households. MOTIE will include water source heat pump systems among the energy efficiency market support projects for owners of lodging and bathhouse businesses.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) will support greenhouse and stock farms with installation of energy saving materials and systems and induce farm management cost reduction through replacement of fossil fuels with livestock manure.

MOF will assist the development of recirculating aquaculture systems, inverter heat pumps and other energy saving equipment to replace energy-intensive intake pumping stations, while also pushing aquaculture digitalization for reduction of energy consumption.

Special assistance programs for ppuri companies currently executed by energy public companies like Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) will be expanded in terms of funding and scope of items.

Eco-friendly boiler installations will be assisted under the Green Home Initiative to improve living conditions for the low-income bracket and of decrepit residential facilities.

MOTIE plans to continue strengthening the inter-ministerial cooperation system by holding pan-government consultative meetings to help efficiency and energy saving take root across all sectors.