New paper: Evaluating options for sustainable energy mixes in South Korea using scenario analysis

A new paper involving Environment Institute members Corey Bradshaw and Barry W. Brook has recently been published in the journal Energy.

The paper, titled Evaluating options for sustainable energy mixes in South Korea using scenario analysis, examines the possibilities for sustainable energy generation in South Korea.


To mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, coal-fired electricity infrastructure needs to be replaced by low-carbon electricity generation options. Here we examine a range of possible alternative scenarios for sustainable electricity generation in South Korea, considering both physical and economic limits of current technologies. The results show that South Korea cannot achieve a 100% renewable energy mix and requires at least 55 GW of backup capacity. Given that constraint, we modelled seven scenarios: (i) the present condition, (ii) the First National Electricity Plan configuration, (iii) renewable energy (including 5 GW photovoltaic) with fuel cells or (iv) natural gas backup, (v) maximum renewable energy (including 75 GW photovoltaic) with natural gas, (vi) maximum nuclear power, and (vii) nuclear power with natural gas. We then quantify levelised cost of electricity, energy security, greenhouse gas emissions, fresh water consumption, heated water discharge, land transformation, air pollutant emissions, radioactive waste disposal, solid waste disposal and safety issues for each modelled mix. Our analysis shows that the maximum nuclear power scenario yields the fewest overall negative impacts, and the maximum renewable energy scenario with fuel cells would have the highest negative impacts.

Visit ScienceDirect to find out more.

World Environment Day 2012

Today (June 5th) is World Environment Day and the theme for 2012 is ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’

World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly to mark the opening of the 1972 Stockholm Conference. This year marks the 40th anniversary for World Environment Day, since the creation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in 1972.

The host country for 2012 is Brazil and world leaders will meet at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) from 20-22 June 2012, twenty years after the historic Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro which was held in 1992. It is described as a Conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government or other representatives.

Part of a ‘Green Economy’ is looking at energy supply and working towards a way to transition to renewable energy and supporting clean, sustainable energy sources. 2012 has also been declared as International Year of Sustainable Energy for All by the United Nations General Assembly.

Yesterday, we posted comments from Prof. Barry Brook, Director of Climate Science at the Environment Institute, who believes Australia will go nuclear by 2030.

At the Environment Institute and the Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources (IMER), the Centre for Energy Technology (CET) is also doing research into different options for bringing in sustainable and renewable systems.

In the video below, Professor Gus Nathan, Director of the CET, outlines the research being done here at the University of Adelaide and how the CET are developing hybrid models for energy.