Seoul launches 1 GW rooftop solar plan

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The Seoul metropolitan government has launched a new plan to increase the city’s total installed rooftop PV capacity from around 200 MW to approximately 1 GW by the end of 2022.

“Solar City Seoul will supply one million households with mini solar power stations, install solar power in every single public site where installation is possible, and promote the solar power industry to increase the total solar power generation to 1 GW,” the government said.

This means that the city’s current capacity of around 203.6 MW – which includes around 50 MW of new deployments from 2018 – will be raised by another 800 MW by the end of the announced time frame. “The Solar City Seoul project generated 237,805 MWh in annual energy for reductions of 109 tons of CO2 in greenhouse gases and 27.6 tons of fine particulate matter,” the city administration said.

It added that the program will create up to 4,500 new jobs by 2022, without providing any other technical or financial details. According to the Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment (FREE), the South Korean capital’s program will have a budget of around KRW 1.7 trillion ($1.46 billion).

In a recent document from the United Nations, the program – which was initially announced in 2017 – was described as having the potential to raise the city’s installed solar capacity to 583 MW by the end of 2020, 779 MW by the end of 2021 and 1,015 MW by of the end of December 2022. It said that the program would be funded by public subsidies, as well as the establishment of installation standards based on aesthetics and safety considerations. The plan also includes easier approval processes and better conditions for community projects.

The South Korean government raised the country’s renewable energy targets at the end of 2017. Under the new plan, the nation will generate 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.