1. Introduction to the businesses
  2. Energy saving in buildings
  3. Countermeasures 
against climate change
  4. Energy saving 
in transportation
  5. New? renewable 
    1. Goal
    2. A Message from the Director
    3. Overview of KEMCO and NREC
    4. Energy Review in Korea
    5. Energy Review in Korea
    6. Current status of NRE RD&D in Korea
    7. Program for promoting NRE deployment
    8. Program for promoting NRE utilization
    9. International Cooperation
  6. Inspection of heat-using machines and equipment
  7. Energy Audit
  8. Energy Service Company (ESCO)
  9. Support in the form of funds and tax incentives
  10. Integrated Energy Supply (IES)
  11. Consultation for Energy Use plan
  12. Efficiency management system
  13. bottom
HOME > INTRODUCTION TO THE BUSINESSES > New? renewable energy > Energy Review in Korea
Energy Review in Korea

Energy imports & consumption

Because of rapid economic growth propelled by the heavy and chemical industries, Korea’s energy consumption has increased sharply since the mid-1970s. Total primary energy consumption (TPES), which stood at 43.9 million tons of oil equivalent (toe) in 1980, increased more than six-fold to 275.7 million toe in 2011, ranking Korea as the 10th largest energy consuming nation in the world. Energy consumption per capita also increased rapidly from 1.1 toe in 1980 to 5.1 toe in 2011.

With poor indigenous energy resources, Korea has to rely almost entire energy demand on imports. In 2011, the dependency rate on imported energy, including nuclear energy, was 96.4 percent. The cost for imported energy amounted to US$ 172.5 billion, which accounted for 32.9 percent of total inbound shipments. Korea energy resources are limited to low-quality anthracite, which accounted for less than 1 percent of total primary energy supply.

Demand for oil has been growing since 1970s, except after the two oil crises of 1973 and 1979. Coal supply has increased in an annual average rate of 5.2% for the past thirty years, but the main use of domestic anthracite has been shifted dramatically from residential sector to power generation sector. Gas was introduced in 1986 in the form of LNG imports and accounted for 17% of the primary energy consumption.

Energy Review in Korea