Minister calls for shifting to energy-efficient industrial structure

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea needs to transform its economic and industrial structures into energy-saving ones as part of efforts to tackle potential power shortage problems caused by the prolonged nationwide heat wave, the finance minister said Wednesday.

South Korea has been gripped by a heat wave for weeks with temperatures rising to record highs in many areas. Such scorching weather sent electricity consumption soaring and subsequently prompted the government to warn of a possible power shortage in recent days.

The government is now asking for people to cut back on energy consumption, with public buildings, including government offices, ordered to turn off their air conditioning and lights.

"In order to stabilize power supply situations, we need to transform our economic and industrial structures into ones that use less energy on the consumption front as well," Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok said during a meeting with other economy-related policymakers.

Thanking people for joining the energy-saving efforts, he noted that the government, for its part, will also work hard to capitalize on the country's advanced IT infrastructure in more effectively managing the overall energy consumption.

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