Jeju Island and its Renewable Energy

Yu Jin Choi
November 5, 2018

Submitted as coursework for PH240, Stanford University, Fall 2018


Fig. 1: Wind turbine, Jeju island (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Jeju Island is South Korea's largest island located south of the Korean peninsula. It attracts more than 10 million tourists every year with a growing trend of domestic and international tourists as it has been selected as a Biosphere Reserve in 2002, World Natural Heritage Site in 2007, and a Global Geopark in 2010. [1] Due to its well-conserved ecosystem and popularity, the South Korean government has actively been implementing new and renewable energy resources in Jeju Island, such as wind energy and bioenergy, as part of their policies. [2] Although the effort to establish an effective use of energy is prevalent in all of South Korea, the government more specifically is attempting to create a regional sustainable energy supply system and to promote new and renewable energy industries throughout Jeju. [3] In this paper, one can find a brief overview of the approaches that the South Korean government has taken in order to reduce Jeju Island's energy consumption and produce as much renewable and new energy as possible.

Energy Use in Jeju Compared to South Korea as a Whole

Although Jejus population is approximately one percent of South Koreas population, (South Korea's population was 49,268,000 in 2011 and Jeju 560,000), Jejus total energy consumption in 2006 was only about 0.5 percent of that of South Korea. Thus, Jeju's energy consumption is relatively less than that of South Korea. However, we see that the production of new and renewable energy for Jeju in tonnage of equivalent energy is more then 1 percent of the total production of new and renewable energy in South Korea. [3] Thus, although these are small numbers, this shows that Jeju is relying more on renewable energy relative to South Korea.

Different forms of renewable energy exist in Jeju. To name a few, wind energy, solar power, solar thermal energy, and geothermal energy take part in the production of new and renewable energy. [3] As seen in Fig. 1, wind turbines are quite easy to spot in Jeju as they play an important role in generating Jeju's renewable energy. The future plan for Jeju is to generate more than 2 GW of electricity using wind energy. [2]

Policies Implemented

An example of policies implemented in Korea to encourage renewable energy is the Act on The Promotion of the Development, Use and Diffusion of New and Renewable Energy, which was revised in 2013, and there has been more investment in renewable energy as the act requires that new buildings of a certain size or larger to invest a small percentage of the cost of construction. With the investment from the act that is pertinent to all of South Korea, most regions including Jeju Province have been able to benefit from different renewable energy generation facilities. [2]

In addition, a plan that is more specific to Jeju is the Energy Basic Law (2006) that assesses the energy demand, ways of supplying energy, different new and renewable energy plans, and so on, including programs that ultimately aim to reduce energy waste. [3] Similarly, the Carbon-Free Island Jeju by 2030 executed by Jejus local government. To name its successes, the Gapa Island of Jeju is now carbon free and Jeju keeps working towards their goal by implementing carbon-free policies. By 2020 and 2030, the government expects Jejus energy supply to be between 330 MW and 850 MW. [2]


With such active attempts to reduce carbon and encourage new and renewable energy, Jeju Island continues to be perceived as very responsible for the environment and sustainability by tourists, including foreigners and domestic tourists. [1]

© Yu Jin Choi. The author warrants that the work is the author's own and that Stanford University provided no input other than typesetting and referencing guidelines. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] M. S. Kim, B. Thapa, and H. Kim, "International Tourists Perceived Sustainability of Jeju Island, South Korea," Sustainability 10, 73 (2018).

[2] E. Park et al., "Economic Feasibility of Renewable Electricity Generation Systems for Local Government Office: Evaluation of the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province in South Korea," Sustainability 9, 82 (2017).

[3] Y. C. Park et al., "New and Renewable Energy Policies of Jeju Island in Korea," in World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden, Volume 10, ed. by B. Moshfegh, (Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011), p. 2446.