South Korea is the model?

The Green party staffer who blogs at The Standard as James Henderson aka Clinton Smith has been all over Twitter and the blog touting South Korea as the model that Labour and Greens are following.

There are a few flaws in that belief, and one they clearly haven’t understood. Firstly lets look at how South Korea generates their power.

From Wikipedia:



Fully 65.3% of their power production is from Thermal generation, burning fossil fuels like LNG, Oil and Coal. 31.1% is produced by nuclear energy. All renewables including Solar, Wind etc account for only 2% of power generation. Hydro is miniscule. 

Are the Greens and their mouthpieces really suggesting that we move towards more Thermal and nuclear generation in order to lower prices? Well the Greens policy on coal is to leave it in the hole…so on the face of it the South Korean model of generation and pricing for electricity doesn’t wash because there is no way Labour or the Greens will allow for Thermal generation nor for nuclear generation despite the fact they are the cheapest power generation available.

Now lets look at KEPCO. Again James Henderson aka Clinton Smith thinks this is the model we should be using. Again he hasn’t realised that KEPCO is only 51% owned by the state, it is in fact a mixed ownership model SOE.

In addition KEPCO operates offshore power companies and also manufactures and build nuclear reactors in one of its subsidiary companies.It also has contracts to manage and extend nuclear facilities around the world and also invested in coal companies in Australia, in order to steal and reverse engineer technology.

In April 2012 KEPCO contracted ICPO to raise $400m to buy into Boutique Coal in Australia to benefit from cheap coal briquettes which improved burn efficiency by up to 30% reduced SOx and NOx by >80% and reduced CO2. KEPCO scientists tried to get IP details and reverse engineer the product for their own use. BC cancelled all association with KEPCO due to an attempt to circumvent and declared KEPCO less than reputable.

Are the Greens and Labour suggesting that their NZ Power do the is the model after all?

On top all that South Korea is in the top ten nations in the world for carbon dioxide emissions.

According to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center CDIAC South Korea is among the top ten, namely ninth, highest country in carbon dioxide emissions in the period 1950-2005. The USA (25%),China (10%) and Russia (8%) are the countries with the highest carbon dioxide emissions from 1950-2005.

I think the Greens choice of promoting South Korea as a stellar example of what they are trying to achieve has turned into a bit of an own goal.

South Korea has amongst the lowest prices for power in the OCD not because they have a centralised buying model, but because they have invested substantially in cheap generation capacity like thermal plants and nuclear plants. I welcome the Greens and Labour embracing our own power generators moving into nuclear technology.


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  • Alloytoo

    The more you ask the questions, the less they’ll like the answers.

  • Pissedoffyouth

    You should enter parliament, Cam.

    • Ronnie Chow

      Why , is the air different ?

  • thor42

    KEPCO is a “mixed-owndership” setup, just like MRP.

    Dear Labour and Greens – please explain why it is that you are holding up Sth Korea and KEPCO as a “shining example” while at the same time trying to “economically kneecap” MRP – our own “mixed-ownership” company.

    Can you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y?

  • Rodger T

    Good luck with trying to get NZers to model their work ethic on Sth Korea.

  • In Korea everybody lives in apartments and the population density is very high. In New Zealand everybody lives in an individual house. The population density is very low. In Korea there is 48 million people living in an area the size of the south Island. In New Zealand we have 4 million people living in an area the size of two south islands.

    Ignoring generation costs the higher densities in Korea allow for reduced cost distribution to the population and thus lower power prices.Perhaps we should get 96 million immigrants?

  • williamabong

    How interesting the Green fuctards should laud a company that seeks to circumvent intellectual property laws, sort of lines up with Green policy completely, lying, thieving, recycled nobodys, bereft of original ideas, with a policy based on theft of others ideas, yep sounds just like the Gween Cunts we all seem to know.