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When the war in Ukraine upended the global energy supply in 2022, South Korea suddenly found itself competing for natural gas. Cut off from Russia’s supply, an energy-starved Europe began buying up supplies worldwide. In 2022 alone, South Korea saw electricity costs rise approximately $17 billion because of the global spike in natural gas prices.

To improve its energy security after this upheaval, South Korea is doubling down on its imports. The country is using government financing to develop liquid natural gas (LNG) supply terminals, both at home and abroad. Its over-investment in LNG has already been costly: Citizens of South Korea are paying higher energy prices, without any gains in energy security, economic strength, or sustainability. 

And even as the government invests billions in new capacity, the country’s demand for natural gas over the next decade is projected to plummet. By the time the new South Korean terminals start operating, they may end up sitting idle for much of the time. 

A complex and expen... Read more

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