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South Korea Temporarily Shuts 10 Coal Plants, Dials 41 Others Back to 80% Output

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A sputtering coal industry has taken yet another hit, with South Korea temporarily shuttering 10 of its 60 coal-fired power plants in a bid to curb air pollution, reports [1] Reuters.

The shutdown follows through on a government promise last month to idle as many as 15 of the plants through the coldest months of the year, December through February, when air pollution tends to worsen.

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Of the 50 plants still online, 41 will be dialed back to 80% capacity, an output projected to be adequate to meet the nation’s needs, said the country’s energy ministry.The powering down of part of South Korea’s coal fleet, which provides Asia’s fourth-largest economy with roughly 40% of its electricity, is the latest in a series [3] of moves [4] that represent a radical shift away from its promise, four Decembers ago [5], to build 20 new coal power plants by 2021.