South Korea to prioritize PV projects with low carbon footprint, high-efficiency modules

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The South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) is planning to introduce three programs to prioritize renewable energy projects relying on equipment with a low carbon footprint, higher efficiencies and stricter Korean industry standards.

The plan, conceived last year, was submitted to representatives of the Korean renewable energy industry late last week, at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“The representatives of solar and wind companies attending said that [the measures] would actively reduce the gap in technology and price competitiveness,” said MOTIE in a statement. “The industry has positively welcomed the fact that the carbon certification system, the minimum efficiency system and the strengthening of the KS [industry standards] certification will greatly contribute to … industrial development.”

Minister of trade, industry and energy, Sung Yun-mo, said: “The renewable energy industry is expanding globally in quantitative terms and we should not miss opportunities to grow our industry and secure sustainable competitiveness.”

Renewable energy target

Meanwhile, the Korea Bizwire website revealed projects complying with the three programs will be given more renewable energy certificates and that the initiative will be implemented next year based on the results of studies and a blueprint that is currently being developed.

The Korean government in July revealed plans to introduce environmental guidelines and rules on where PV projects could be built after a public outcry when a landslide hit a solar array south of the city of Daegu.

In December, MOTIE released a basic plan for electricity supply and demand that sees the country installing 58.5 GW of renewables capacity by 2030, including up to 30 GW of solar. If deployed, the 58.5 GW would be enough to generate 20% of Korea’s power from renewables.

At the end of 2017, the country’s cumulative installed PV capacity stood at around 5.06 GW, according to statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency.