This article in the Korea Herald talks about the profitability of coal-fired power plants because of the heat wave but does not mention a word about climate change, the cause of the heatwave, or about the profoundly negative impact of coal power plants on the climate. There are lots of things to be unhappy with, but this irresponsible behavior is a matter of life and death. The focus is place on the billing for electricity, and not on the profound challenge of climate change–for which Korean industry and government has no plan at all.
(thanks to Malcolm Wrest for this reference)
The Korea Herald
“Heat wave boosts profits of coal-fired power plants”
Five Korean coal-fired power plants operated by a state-run company have seen a
sharp rise in their profitability amid the weeks-long heatwave, data showed Monday.
According to the Financial Supervisory Service and power industry sources, the five coal-powered plants run by
Korea Electronic Power Corp. recorded profit rates – operating profit as a proportion of total sales —
of about 15 percent to 22.5 percent from January to June this year.
Korea East-West Power saw the highest increase to 22.5 percent, which is 9 percentage points higher than last year.
Korea South-East Power and Korea Western Power saw their profit rates rise to 20 percent.
Korea Southern Power and Korea Midland Power, whose profit rates
had been around 5 percent, saw a surge to 16.5 percent and 14.9 percent, respectively.
KEPCO, which purchases the power from those five companies and sells it to customers, also saw a 46 percent rise in its
operating profit to 6.4 trillion won ($5.7 billion). This is equivalent to earning 34.7 billion won a day in the first half of this year.
KEPCO hit the record high operating profit last year of over 11 trillion won.
The state-run company is projected to break the record again this year,
thanks to plummeting wholesale prices of power and rising demand.
The wholesale price of the power hit a record low of 65.31 won per kilowatt-hour in June, the lowest point in seven years.
The sweltering heat that started early, in May also contributed to the demand increase.
Seoul City saw temperatures hit 37 degrees Celsius on Monday, the highest in 22 years. The Korea Meteorological
Administration forecasted that the heat wave would continue until the end of this month.
Amid the heat wave and rising profitability of power companies, public voices have
grown over reforming the current power bill system that only charges cumulative bills to households.
The industry sector and self-employed businessmen are exempt from the cumulative charge system despite the high demand.
As the public demand escalated earlier this month, the government and ruling
Saenuri Party set up a task force to draw measures of revising the electricity bill system.
Quote from Aldous Huxley for the many insane people around us who look the way in the face of the doom of climate change.
“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”
Brave New World Revisited
I am not bothered by Koreans lacking certain “Western” habits and I think that Korea is plenty sophisticated in its own way. But there is one thing about Korea that really bugs me: the complete lack of concern for the impact of our actions on the environment. Most notably, we have seen a great enthusiasm for small plastic fans that can be held in hand, or even powered by smart phones. They sell for just 9000 Won. But no one seems to think about the impact on the environment of that unnecessary use of plastics (petroleum) batteries and other materials. Or the waste of electricity (generated by nuclear power, natural gas, coal or petroleum) required. The bottom line is that you can use your own hands to power a fan. No need for an electric fan. Such actions are indulgent and thoughtless when we think about the impending doom of climate change.
classic hand-powered fan and wasteful electric fan.
Electric fans for sale