South Korea announces results of latest nationwide solar inspections


South Korea's Office for Government Policy Coordination (OGPC) said last week that KRW 582.4 billion ($408.4million) of funds were illegally allocated to multiple renewable energy projects under former President Moon Jae-in.

The agency reported 5,359 cases of illegal fund management, with 3,010 involving solar projects inflating installation costs for excessive loans through the tender scheme. The cases mainly involve illegal loan execution, unlawful subsidy allocation, and bid rigging.

This is the second investigation by South Korean authorities on renewable energy subsidy allocation. The first investigation identified 2,267 cases of illegal fund management across 12 local governments during the previous government's five-year period.

South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) recently reduced feed-in tariff policy and renewable energy certificates (REC) issuance under the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) scheme for 2023 onwards. This led to a 50% decrease in the solar PV bid size under the REC scheme, from 2,000 MW to 1,000 MW.

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The South Korean Energy Agency held two 4 GW PV tenders, allocating capacity in 2 GW and 2.2 GW rounds in 2021, and contracting 1.2 GW and 1.4 GW in 2020.

South Korea has 20.9 GW of installed PV capacity, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

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