Seoul City starts intensive energy saving drive
By Kim Rahn
Seoul City plans to save electricity equivalent to the amount generated from one nuclear power plant by cutting back on power use and relying more on renewable energy.
The municipal government announced a “comprehensive measure to reduce the power from one nuclear plant” Thursday with the aim of slashing energy demand by 2 million tons of oil equivalents (TOE) by 2014.
The policy aims to reduce the use of fossil fuel and generate green energy so that the city can replace the amount of energy that a single nuclear plant can produce.
“Seoul’s electric power self-sufficiency is only 2.8 percent while the demand for electricity is increasing. General anxiety has grown over the safety of nuclear power plants after the Fukushima incident and citizens call for safe and sustainable energy,” Mayor Park Won-soon said in a media briefing at City Hall.
Under the scheme, the city will set up solar photovoltaic power generating facilities on the rooftops of 10,000 public and private buildings. It will generate enough electric power in order to prevent blackouts.
Buildings that use large amounts of energy will be encouraged to improve their facilities, while lighting at public facilities will be replaced with energy-efficient LED lights.
The city will also encourage citizens to more actively participate in carpooling and leave their cars at home once a week. It has proposed that the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs raise the fee charged on department stores or other large-sized buildings attracting motorists to 1,000 won per square meters from the current 350 won.
Through those measures, the city expects to boost electric power self-sufficiency to 20 percent by 2020, reduce carbon dioxide produced by 7.3 million tons every year, and to save 2 million TOE of energy by 2014.
“About 3.2 trillion won will be spent on the project, including 542 billion won from city’s budget. But thereafter it will save us 2 trillion won every year which we used to spend to import crude oil,” Park said.