Samsung aims to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050

Samsung aims to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics is moving away from fossil fuels and aims to power its global operations entirely with clean electricity by 2050, a challenging goal that experts say could be hindered by its modest commitments South Korea on climate change.

South Korea-based Samsung is a leading producer of computer memory chips and smartphones and the second-largest energy consumer behind Walmart among hundreds of global companies that have joined the ‘RE100’ campaign to get 100% of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind or solar energy.

Announcing its goal on Thursday, the company said it aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions in its mobile, TV and consumer electronics divisions by 2030 and across all global operations including semiconductors by 2050.

It plans to invest 7 trillion won ($5 billion) by 2030 in projects aimed at reducing emissions from process gases, controlling and recycling e-waste, conserving water and minimizing pollutants. It plans to develop new technologies to reduce power consumption in consumer electronics and data centers, which would require more efficient memory chips. It will also set long-term targets for reducing emissions in supply chains and logistics.

“Samsung is responding to the threats of climate change with a comprehensive plan that includes reducing emissions, new sustainability practices, and developing innovative technologies and products that are better for our planet,” said Jong-Hee Han, the company’s CEO. . mailed statement.

Samsung’s plan drew praise from some of its investors, including Dutch pension fund manager APG, which said the company could potentially make a “significant contribution” to cleaning up South Korea’s electricity market, given the impact and its influence on the national economy.

Sam Kimmins, director of energy and head of RE100 at the London-based Climate Group, which leads the clean electricity initiative, said Samsung’s commitment would send a message to others in the market that “it is possible and critical to switch to 100 % renewable energy.’

However, APG expressed concern that Samsung’s announcement comes at a time when South Korea is backing away from its climate change targets.

The conservative government of President Yoon Suk Yeol, who took office in May, has focused much of its energy policy on promoting nuclear-generated electricity. Desperate to boost a weak economy, Yun’s government has also shown reluctance to drastically reduce the country’s reliance on coal and natural gas, which generate about 65 percent of South Korea’s electricity.

South Korea got 7.5% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2021, significantly lower than the 30% average among rich countries that make up the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Yun’s government recently adjusted the country’s renewable energy target to 21 percent of the total energy mix by 2030, softening the 30 percent goal announced by his liberal predecessor, Moon Jae-in.

Samsung acknowledged that it would have a harder time converting to renewable electricity domestically than in its overseas operations, where it aims to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2027. It said renewable energy supplies in South Korea “have started to are expanding but remain constrained’, while its electricity needs continue to rise as it ramps up production at its domestic semiconductor lines to meet global demands.

“As a long-term investor in Korea, we are concerned about how the government plans to compromise industry’s desperate need for clean electricity to stay relevant in the long term,” said Yoo-Kyung Park, APG’s Asia Pacific chief investment and governance officer. . , said in a statement.

Samsung, South Korea’s biggest company, had faced growing pressure to do more to cut carbon dioxide emissions as it lagged behind some of its peers on climate pledges. These companies include Apple, a major buyer of Samsung’s chips, which joined the RE100 in 2016 and plans to be carbon neutral across its business and manufacturing supply chains by 2030, putting pressure on its suppliers to meet these requirements.

Samsung is the crown jewel of an export-dependent economy driven by the manufacture of semiconductors, cars, displays, mobile phones and ships, industries that tend to be energy-intensive.

Samsung used 25.8 terawatt hours of electricity for its operations last year, which was almost twice the amount consumed by all households in the South Korean capital of Seoul and more than other global tech giants such as Google, Apple, Meta, Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.

Samsung’s embrace of clean electricity could have major effects on the supply chain, prompting other companies to boost their supply of renewable energy, said Ousam Jin of the Seoul-based Corporate Renewable Energy Foundation.

“Most importantly, Samsung’s commitment to RE100 sends a strong message to the renewable energy market and policy makers to increase renewable energy supply considering the company’s massive electricity usage,” said Jin.

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