South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) has said that it will fully implement provisions allowing domestic electricity consumers to buy power from renewable energy producers through power purchase agreements (PPAs).
The plan was first announced in January 2021. The South Korean government said that access to the PPA market will now be given to projects exceeding 300 kW in size, in order to encourage renewable energy deals for buildings. Under the old rules, the size threshold had been set at 1 MW.
Under the so-called K-RE100 scheme, state-owned Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) will act as an intermediary between sellers and buyers. Prior to the introduction of the program, consumers could exclusively buy electricity from the national utility.
SK E&S, a South Korean natural liquefied gas (LNG) supplier, secured the country's first PPA from Seoul-based Amorepacific in March. The electricity will be provided by a 5 MW renewable energy plant operated by SK E&S at an unspecified location. Power supplies are set to start from the fourth quarter of this year. As of December 2021, SK E&S was operating and developing 1.3 GW of solar capacity.
In early August, SK Specialty agreed to buy electricity from 50 MW of renewables assets in South Korea’s South Chungcheong province throughout the 2024-44 period at an undisclosed price. The industrial group described the deal as South Korea's largest renewables PPA ever. It said that other subsidiaries such as SK Trichem and SK Materials Performance may soon follow with similar deals.
Under the K-RE100 initiative, the South Korean government wants the country to be fully powered by renewable energy by 2050.
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