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Carbon-Free Island JEJU by 2030


The Carbon-Free Island JEJU by 2030 (CFI 2030) policy aims to transform Jeju into a carbon-free island by 2030. It is the first project in the world to target an area with a population of over 500,000 and has been ongoing since 2012. Home to the UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve (2002), World Natural Heritage Site (2007), and Global Geopark (2010), Jeju strives towards a carbon-neutral future utilizing state-of-art technology including renewable energy, EV, smart grids, and microgrids.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Carbon-Free Island JEJU by 2030 (CFI2030) is a policy aiming to transform Jeju-do into a carbon-free island that does not use fossil fuels by 2030. This shows Jeju’s high level of interest in environmental issues, as well as the island’s confidence regarding technology. Jeju-do is a clean/eco-tourism destination being the only region in the world to receive three UNESCO natural science titles Biosphere Reserve (2002), Natural World Heritage (2007), and Global Geopark (2010), but it is currently suffering greatly due to waste-related problems.

The continuous growth of people visiting to experience the beauty of Jeju-do also means that there is an increase in wastes. This has resulted in not only higher demands for stronger environmental policies, but also increased activity of home-grown environmental movement organizations in Jeju-do. Under such trends, it may have been only natural for Jeju-do to make its declaration for a Carbon-Free Island prior to hosting the World Conservation Congress back in 2012.

At the time, Jeju-do was constructing a smart grid demonstration complex for verifying the new and renewable energy, electric vehicle, and smart grid sectors. The confidence gained through the procurement and demonstration of the technological tools gave strength to Jeju-do's declaration for the Carbon-Free Island. One aspect that made it possible to implement the values of carbon neutrality for the future with advanced technologies in new and renewable energy, EVs, smart grid, and microgrid sectors was the fact that Jeju-do is a special self-governing province, making it easy to reform its systems.

CFI 2030 Key process:

  • 2012 Announcing ‘Carbon-Free Island JEJU by 2030’ plan → Presenting JEJU style greenhouse gas reduction policies
  • 2013 Announcing the road map for CFI2030 detailed implementation
  • 2016 Establishing CFI vision basic plan
  • 2019 Modifying and revising ‘Carbon-Free Island JEJU by 2030’
  • 2022 Announcing the achievements and tasks for the 10th Anniversary

CFI 2030 Objectives, hence introduction of renewable energy facilities to meet 100 percent of the island’s power demand:

  • Renewable energy facility installation capacity totals 2,490 MW and 4,085 MW by 2025 and 2030, respectively.
  • Renewable energy generation is 5,055 GWh by 2025 and 9,268 GWh by 2030.
  • The ratio of power generation to power demand on the island shall reach 67 percent by 2025 and 106 percent by 2030.
  • The curtailment of renewable power is being reduced, while the variability of renewable energy by utilizing central generators and high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology is being minimized.

In 2022, the Republic of Korea is pursuing a global lead by announcing carbon neutrality and hydrogen economy vision after presenting a 21.5% target for renewable energy by 2030. CFI 2030 connects energy, transportation, power system, and big data, and is developing into a new convergence model of renewable energy and the industry. The CFI 2030 policy is a plan to achieve 100% renewable energy, and Jeju Island's renewable energy penetration rate was 18.3% (778 MW), the highest in Korea.

The policy to supply eco-friendly electric vehicles aims to create sustainable cities and dwellings pursued by the Sustainable Development Goals. Currently, 30,000 eco-friendly electric vehicles have been supplied, and new internal combustion locomotives will be discontinued after 2030. Jeju’s local wind energy fund, the first in Korea, was established in 2017 to ensure responsible consumption and production. The fund is used for regional energy transition by providing energy subsidies to the vulnerable, promoting renewable energy, and supporting education.

CFI JEJU 2030 Initiative was introduced at Paris UN Climate Change Conference in 2015 (COP21). Jeju won P4G Energy Sector State-of-the-Art Partnership Award at Glasgow in November 2021 (COP26).

CFI 2030 began by building a microgrid test site and the world’s largest smart grid demonstration complex. As the project scales up across the island, there is high potential for applying the model to various regions including developing country. Jeju is building a green hydrogen ecosystem and there is a high possibility for market expansion due to participation from the central government((Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy ∙ Ministry of Environment) and large corporations.

The establishment of Korea’s first green hydrogen production test site, increased supply of EVs, and scaling up of hydro-mobility projects will create jobs and serve as a new driving force for the region. Winning the 2021 P4G Energy Sector State-of-the -Art Best Partnership, CFI partnerships are striving for international cooperation to carbon-neutral.

Innovation Description

What Makes Your Project Innovative?

CFI2030 envisions a new future through innovation based on collaboration between the central government(Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy ∙ Ministry of Environment), Jeju province, and related institutions. Under CFI 2030, Jeju built the world’s largest national smart grid demonstration complex from 2009 to 2013. From 2011 to 2016, Jeju launched a pilot microgrid system in Gapado, Jeju, successfully achieving net-zero and reducing electricity consumption costs to one-fifth for its 220 residents.

Since 2016, Jeju is operating Korea’s first offshore wind farm and is currently building its first large-scale test site for green hydrogen production, storage, and application utilizing renewable energy. In addition, Jeju has been hosting the International Electric Vehicle Expo since 2014 which is the world’s only expo that focus sole on EVs. Based on such experience, Jeju can contribute to international development and cooperation with global society

What is the current status of your innovation?

The CFI 2030 policy was established in 2012 in connection with the achievements of the smart grid and microgrid businesses that have been promoted in Jeju. A revision plan has been established and is being implemented in 2019, and a revision plan that reflects new carbon-neutral technologies will be implemented in 2023.

Difficulties such as curtailments occurred during the CFI 2030 policy implementation process. To solve this problem, the project is being carried out by solving problems focusing on 'distributed energy' and 'building a green hydrogen ecosystem'
The experience, achievements, and know-how on how to solve the problem in pursuing the CFI 2030 policy will help many regions and countries in establishing carbon-neutral policies.

With the award of the-state-of-the-art Partnership of P4G in 2021, Jeju is making various efforts to cooperate with more regions to achieve its global carbon neutrality goal.

Innovation Development

Collaborations & Partnerships

The CFI 2030 policy is a carbon-neutral policy promoted by Jeju Special Self-Governing Province since 2012, and is being promoted by various stakeholders such as residents, companies, civil society organizations, and research institutes.

In 2021, the CFI Partnership, which focuses on international cooperation in the energy sector and the hydrogen economy, was formed (17 companies, civil society organizations, research institutes, etc.) and received state-of-the-art partnership award from P4G.

Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

Jeju provincial government is making efforts to help many residents understand carbon neutrality and participate in CFI policies through CFI education, public relations, and governance programs. Through three governance meetings consisting of about 100 citizens, entrepreneurs, and experts, we are collecting opinions on CFI policies and seeking ways to develop them, and it was operated 7 times in 2021.

Innovation Reflections

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

Supply of renewable Energy:

  • In 2013, 273 GWh (wind 262 GWh, solar 9 GWh, other 2 GWh)
  • In 2021, 1,116 GWh (wind 538 GWh, solar 573 GWh, other 5 GWh)

Supply of electric vehicles:

  • In 2015, 2,369 electric vehicles (0.70%) of 338,719 vehicles
  • In 2021, 25,571 electric vehicles (6.35%) of 402,703 vehicles

Public management of wind power resources: The Wind Resource Allocation Fund Ordinance (2016) was enacted for public management of wind resources in Jeju Island. The fund is used for renewable energy development, energy support for the vulnerable, and education promotion projects.

International recognition:

  • Paris UN Climate Change Conference (2015 COP21): Introduction to Jeju’s ‘Carbon-Free Island by 2030’.
  • 2021 Energy Sector state-of-the-art Partnership Award of P4G

Challenges and Failures

As the supply of new and renewable energy spreads, the supply of new and renewable energy is large, which puts a burden on the existing transmission and distribution networks, resulting in curtailments.

Curtailment Status (number of times/output control amount)

  • In 2020, 77times (19,449MWh)
  • In 2021, 64times (12,859MWh)

In order to resolve curtailments, various energy storage system should be prepared to expand new energy sources or control supply. Green hydrogen production using renewable energy is a representative field of expanding energy demand. Jeju Island has been making all-out efforts to build infrastructure and improve the system so that hydrogen buses can be operated in the province since 2023. In the future, it plans to expand the application of green hydrogen to cleaning vehicles, agricultural machinery, trams, and ships.

Conditions for Success

The CFI 2030 policy is a key energy conversion policy for a carbon-neutral society that has been promoted since 2012. Leadership, governance and financial support are necessary for continuous promotion. In 2012, Jeju Energy Corporation was founded to develop the renewable industry. In 2017, Jeju created Korea’s first local wind power fund and the profit is shared with private wind farm businesses. In order to spread the CFI 2030 policy, it is necessary to strengthen education, publicity, and governance activities. Jeju Special Self-Governing Province is striving to jointly respond to the global climate crisis by sharing environmental conservation policies and eco-friendly energy and transportation policies with cities around the world.


Carbon Free Island JEJU by 2030 policy began with microgrid demonstration and experience in creating the world's largest smart grid demonstration complex. And since the announcement of the CFI 2030 plan, revised plans reflecting various opinions are underway. Experience through demonstration projects and experience in institutionalization can help many regions and countries participating in global carbon neutrality.

In particular, efforts are being made to establish a green hydrogen ecosystem, and there is a high possibility that the market will spread with the participation of the central government and large companies. The establishment of Korea's first green hydrogen production demonstration complex, the spread of electric vehicles, and the spread of hydrogen-based mobility-related businesses will contribute to job creation and new growth engines in the region.

Lessons Learned

In the process of promoting the CFI 2030 policy, curtailments occurred as renewable energy expanded. In order to solve the output limitation, it is necessary to consider the expansion of renewable energy and demand in a balanced manner. The CFI 2030 policy initially focused on expanding the supply of renewable energy and electric vehicles. For carbon neutrality, efficient management of energy along with infrastructure investment is very important. For the efficient use of energy, it is expanding to agriculture, tourism, and building management. In order to achieve the goals pursued by the CFI 2030 policy, the participation of provincial residents and tourists is very important. To this end, education, public relations, and governance programs are needed.

Supporting Videos

Year: 2012
Level of Government: Regional/State government


  • Implementation - making the innovation happen
  • Evaluation - understanding whether the innovative initiative has delivered what was needed
  • Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways

Innovation provided by:


Date Published:

24 January 2023

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