Photo: Vice President Han Jong-hee of Samsung Electronics announces his company's pledge for RE100. Credit: Samsung Electronics.
On September 15, Samsung Electronics 삼성전자 announced that it would join RE100, a pledge to transition to 100% renewable energy use by 2050 in order to slow climate change. Samsung’s announcement holds significant weight, as it is the single largest consumer of electricity in South Korea. In 2020, Samsung Electronics used 16k gigawatt-hours, or more than 43% of South Korea’s entire electricity generation from renewable sources such as solar panels and wind turbines.
Meanwhile, the Yoon Suk-yeol 윤석열 administration remains hostile to RE100 and renewable energy. During a presidential campaign TV debate, Yoon claimed a 100% renewable energy transition was “impossible,” then later said: “It’s ok for a presidential candidate not to know something like RE100.” (See previous coverage, “RE100: Ok Not to Know?”)
Yoon has attacked the Moon Jae-in 문재인 administration’s drive for solar energy as a “waste of tax money,” and instead pushed for nuclear power to draw a contrast to his liberal predecessor’s “nuclear zero” initiative. (See previous coverage, “Nuclear Energy Stocks’ Election Bump.”)