5 Trends Shaping the Offshore Wind Market in South Korea in 2024

South Korea, as one of the world’s largest economies and energy consumers, has set ambitious targets to increase the share of renewable energy-generated power to 21.6% by 2030 and 30.6% by 2036 (IEA, 2023).

To achieve these targets, the offshore industry will require continuous innovation, investment, and collaboration among various stakeholders including the government, developers, supply chain, academia, and civil society, to overcome the barriers and realise the potential of the clean energy transition.

In this article, we will explore five (5) key trends that are shaping the offshore wind market in South Korea, based on the latest data and projections from industry experts and analysts.

1. Increasing Participation of Local and International Players

The offshore wind market in South Korea is becoming more competitive and diverse. Emerging local players such as SK, KOEN, KEPCO, and Hanwha – large industrial or generation companies – are making significant strides. Additionally, joint ventures (JVs) between international and local players are tapping into the vast potential of this market.

The South Korean government has introduced various incentives and policies such as the Green New Deal, and the 10th Basic Plan for Electricity Supply and Demand, as well as certain non-price criteria for evaluation in the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Auction Award, to increase local demand for renewable energy and attract investments and technology transfer.

In the 2022 REC Auction, 99MW were allocated to Jeonnam 1 (joint venture between SK E&S and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners). In the 2023 REC Auction around 1,4GW were allocated to various projects, including the 600MW Wando Geumil (KOEN) and 400MW Shinan Ui (Hanwha, KOEN, and SK D&D). These projects are expected to deploy Vestas wind turbines.

Furthermore, large South Korean industrial companies such as CS Wind, LS Cables, Taehan, Hanwha Ocean, SK ecoplant, HSG Sungdong, SeAH and HHI are Tier-1 suppliers and are already active players in the local and global offshore wind market.

“The Korean supply chain is already competitive. It can greatly benefit from the business opportunities that will arise if the right policies and decisions are in place to enable the expected large-scale deployment of offshore wind in South Korea.”

Juan Pinilla Lopez, Country Director Korea and Chief Consultant

Despite the competition, close collaboration between foreign and local players will be key to the successful realisation of projects. The local market will benefit from best practice transfer from experienced players to ensure accelerated project development and successful operations. Conversely, foreign developers need the local capabilities to tailor the project setup in accordance with the context and specific requirements in South Korea.

2. Enhanced Grid Integration

As the renewable capacity in South Korea grows, so does the need for efficient and reliable grid expansion and integration.

Korea currently has less than 10% Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) system integration which has very little impact on the system operation (GWEC, 2024). The government and the industry are working together to address the technical and regulatory challenges that may arise from the intermittent and variable nature of offshore wind power.

Furthermore, grid solutions must be found as most of the offshore wind farms are being developed in the south of the country and/or at a large distance from main electricity consumption areas.

Some of the initiatives that are being implemented or explored include the expansion and reinforcement of the transmission and distribution network, the development of smart grid and microgrid technologies, the integration of offshore wind with hydrogen production and storage.

3. Increased Focus on Permitting, Environmental and Social Impacts

Offshore wind is widely recognised as a clean and sustainable energy source, yet there is still a need for facilitating stronger public support in order to meet the set targets. Multiple measures have been taken to ensure that the offshore wind projects in South Korea are developed in a responsible and transparent manner, with respect for the local communities, fishermen, and ecosystems.

Some of the measures that are being taken or considered include the establishment of enhanced Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) measures, extensive engagement of stakeholders and civil society groups, the protection of marine biodiversity and fisheries, and the creation of local well-paid jobs and advanced value chains.

However, the special bill on offshore wind which includes a “one-stop shop”, instead of the current Electric Business License (EBL) system, just failed to be approved in the current legislation despite increasing parliamentary support following years under discussion. This bill was expected to streamline the permitting and consent processes and facilitate the development of offshore wind projects in South Korea.

4. Accelerated Deployment of Floating Offshore Wind

One of the challenges for offshore wind development in South Korea is that the sea areas with the highest wind content are in deep waters, meaning they are not suitable for fixed-bottom turbines. To overcome this challenge, several floating wind projects are being developed in the country and developers are investing heavily in floating offshore wind technology, which can be deployed in deeper and more remote waters.

South Korea is expected to have one of the largest floating offshore wind markets globally. Some of the major projects that are well underway off the coast of Ulsan (east sea of Korea), totalling a total capacity of +6GW of floating wind, including the 1,5GW Haewoori, 1,5GW Bada Energy, 800MW Firefly, 1,3GW Munmubaram, and 1,2GW KFW projects.

Floating offshore wind turbines provide a solution for adapting to the local environmental conditions in South Korea and exploring the vast offshore wind potential.

It is promising to see South Korean market take a pioneering approach with large capacity being allocated to floating wind projects and also the already well-developed heavy manufacturing, naval, and maritime ecosystem adapting to offshore wind development

Ilmas Bayati, Head of Floating Wind Excellence

Furthermore, the Korean government has recently announced their plans to convert the current Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) system, into a long-term fixed bidding system to promote large-scale offshore wind projects based on LCoE (Yonhap News). While more details are still to be disclosed and further discussion shall be expected prior to any implementation, this transition may facilitate a higher capacity allocation from each REC Auction.  

5. Growing demand for skilled local talent

To keep up with the increasing offshore wind industry, there is a growing demand for learning and development among the local workforce.

According to the Carbon Trust, implementing 25GW of offshore wind by 2035 may create over 150 000 direct jobs in South Korea, which will require a well-established learning and development setup for training new talent, both from academia, and the industry players. Many specialists are switching fields from Oil & Gas, shipbuilding, and construction, however, there is also a need for upskilling and knowledge transfer specific to offshore wind including operations and maintenance (O&M).

PEAK Wind is dedicated to enhancing the knowledge of offshore wind specialists through PEAK Wind Academy – our learning and development platform. We are currently offering a course on offshore wind O&M Preparations, specifically tailored to project managers, O&M managers, and others who want to gain insight from real-life projects.


Offshore wind is a key component of South Korea’s energy transition and climate action plan, and it is expected to witness significant growth in the next few years. With their ambitious installation targets, South Korea aims to position itself as a frontrunner, key supplier of main components and a regional hub for offshore wind development.

PEAK Wind can support offshore wind developers in South Korea from providing consulting from the early project stages to asset and operations management services.

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