Member Participation

Republic of Korea


In the Second Energy Master Plan announced in January 2014, the government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) established a new energy policy paradigm, reorienting its focus from energy supply to demand management and setting a target to curb power demand by 15% in 2035 compared to the BAU level. According to the Master Plan, the power generation sector will move away from large-scale, centralized power generation toward deploying more distributed energy resources in order to make the energy system more sustainable while increasing renewable energy penetration to 11% by 2035. Under the new post-2020 climate regime, the Republic of Korea is making its best efforts to foster new energy industries that leverage the opportunities presented by climate change by developing and demonstrating new business models. To this end, the government is providing policy support for R&D and human resource development as well as financing and tax benefits to promote the development of innovative and creative solutions in new energy sectors. Moreover, it is also committed to revamping regulations that discriminate against or hinder investment in new technologies and industries.

In order to achieve its energy policy target, the ROK government is sparing no effort to develop energy technologies while fostering an energy R&D framework, for instance by establishing the Third Energy Technology Development Plan, and encouraging the commercialization of R&D efforts. Following the announcement of Korea’s participation in Mission Innovation in November 2015, related government ministries and experts from the academic, business and research communities came together to craft a Clean Energy Technology Development Strategy aimed at responding to climate change and creating new energy industries. In the Clean Energy Technology Roadmap announced in August 2016, the government defined R&D strategies for 13 specific technologies in 6 major clean energy sectors and set R&D targets and directions for 2030. The 6 sectors include renewables, energy efficiency improvement, demand-side management, nuclear power, clean thermal power and transmission and distribution, and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), and the 13 technologies are photovoltaics, wind power, hydrogen and fuel cells, bioenergy, nuclear power, transport efficiency, building efficiency, industrial efficiency, energy storage systems (ESS), energy prosumers, smart grids, clean thermal power and CCUS.

The Republic of Korea has set the public sector’s baseline budget for Mission Innovation at around 560 billion Korean won in 2016, with the intention to increase that figure to around 1.12 trillion Korean won by 2021. By taking the lead in making preemptive, risk-taking investments, the ROK government hopes to attract more private investment in developing clean energy technologies. Korea’s Mission Innovation budget also allocates amounts to be executed by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in an effort to maximize the effects of such investment through role sharing and cooperation between the government and SOEs. By expanding R&D investment in clean energy technology, the ROK government aims ultimately to improve the performance of existing technologies, achieve cost savings, and accelerate the time-to-commercialization of clean technologies.

Various activities related to the development and deployment of clean energy technologies are supported by technology development projects, also known as R&D programs, of relevant ministries. The list of such programs is as follows:

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

  • Key technologies for demand-side energy management: supporting the development of technologies related to high-energy consuming devices, buildings, industrial processes, transport efficiency, energy storage, CCUS and new energy industries in order to tackle climate change and respond to changes in the energy environment, such as oil price volatility
  • Key technologies for renewable energy: supporting the development of technologies related to photovoltaics, wind power, fuel cells, hydrogen, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), hydro power, ocean power, bioenergy, waste-to-energy, solar thermal, geothermal and hydrothermal to enhance technology and price competitiveness of renewable energy
  • Key technologies for clean thermal power generation: supporting the development of technologies to retrofit existing thermal power plants and construct new thermal power plants with higher-efficiency and eco-friendliness
  • Key technologies for smart grids: supporting the development of smart transmission and distribution network and innovative electricity equipment to build smart and eco-friendly power grids
  • Key technologies for nuclear power: supporting the development of decommissioning technologies and the enhancement of nuclear power plant facilities and operation performance to ensure the safety of nuclear power plants
  • Key technologies for the automobile industry: supporting the development of green vehicles, such as hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles, to reduce carbon emissions and improve fuel efficiency

Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning

  • Technologies for climate change response:
  • supporting basic research and innovation in next-generation technologies such as photovoltaics, hydrogen fuel cells, bioenergy, secondary cells, energy management systems and hybrid renewable energy systems, and carbon capture and storage (CCS) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • supporting the development of technologies to utilize byproduct gases from industry and greenhouse gases as alternative resources to petroleum
  • supporting the development of common key technologies required for climate change monitoring, risk identification, and enhancing adaptive capacity
  • Technologies for nuclear power: supporting the development of core technologies for nuclear power, including nuclear safety, future nuclear reactor systems and nuclear fuel cycle

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport

  • Research on urban construction: supporting the development of technologies related to GHG emissions reduction for buildings

Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries

  • Technologies for ocean and fisheries bio-engineering: supporting the development of core technologies and industrialization technologies in the bioenergy sector

Ministry of Environment

  • Technologies for CCS environmental management: supporting the development of entire life-cycle environmental management technologies in preparation for the commercialization of CCS

The Republic of Korea is also undertaking a wide range of efforts for global cooperation to develop clean energy technologies. In 2011, the ROK government launched the International Joint Energy R&D Program to provide financial aid for research projects jointly conducted by domestic and international research institutions. The Program has funded various projects jointly conducted with the US, the UK, Canada and Germany. The list of partner countries is also continually expanding, with the Czech Republic, Mexico, Indonesia and France recently added. Through Mission Innovation, the ROK government is committed to further engaging in close cooperation with its partners.


Baseline and Doubling Plans

  • Country-Determined Baseline Year(s): FY 2016
  • Baseline Funding Amount: USD $490 million
  • Doubling Target-Year: FY 2021
  • Doubling Target Amount: USD $980 million

Country-Definition of Clean Energy R&D Investment

The increased investment will be concentrated in clean energy technologies:  renewables, energy efficiency improvement, clean thermal power, smart grids, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), energy storage systems (ESS), nuclear power, etc.

Overview of Clean Energy R&D Focus Areas Emphasized in Mission Innovation Portfolio

Industry & buildings


Vehicles & other transportation


Bio-based fuels & energy


Solar, wind & other renewables


Nuclear energy


Hydrogen & fuel cells


Cleaner fossil energy


CO2 capture, utilization & storage


Electricity grid


Energy storage


Basic energy research

Indicators are for key areas of Mission Innovation R&D investment but do not imply a comprehensive representation of a country’s full R&D portfolio.

Additional Information

Prepared Remarks for Launch Event:

H.E. President Park Geun-hye

Related sites:

President’s website

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

Republic of Korea’s International Joint Energy R&D Program

Republic of Korea’s International Joint Energy R&D Program was first launched in 2011 to provide financial aid for research projects jointly conducted by domestic and international research institutions with funding from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The main goals of the Program are to promote the exchange of human resources and information between domestic and international research institutions, to carry out multifaceted cooperation on the governmental and private levels, and to achieve energy innovation through international joint R&D activities.

The Program strives to promote energy technology development, to further boost the global energy market, and to secure greater competitiveness through the convergence of different technologies from around the globe. Furthermore, it aims to improve clean energy technology competence and to contribute to the creation of new energy markets by promoting international cooperation, readily identifying and obtaining cutting-edge technologies and providing a platform to advance into the global market through an open innovation paradigm.

The Program provides multi-directional support. Bottom-up support is designed to effectively respond to demand in the field, such as the needs of SMEs for demonstrations and product commercialization and the needs of research institutions for energy innovation through joint research projects. Top-down support capitalizes on government-level cooperation in the form of MOUs between governments, etc. For the latter direction, energy technology issues are introduced and discussed by the countries concerned through events such as joint workshops to plan and design projects before they are publicly announced. Such projects are funded jointly by the government of the Republic of Korea and the government of the partner country. Since its inception in 2011, the Program has funded various projects jointly conducted with the US, UK, Canada, and Germany. The list of our partner countries is also expanding continually, with the Czech Republic and Mexico recently added.