The Seoul Metropolitan Government wants to power one out of every three households with solar panels by 2022, turning the South Korean capital into a solar capital. (photo credit: www.goodfreephotos.com)
- Seoul’s Mayor has unveiled a master plan to turn the city into a Solar City
- 1 million solar power systems are to be deployed between 630,000 apartment verandas, 150,000 houses and 220,000 buildings by 2022
- New buildings will have to go solar, while existing buildings will be offered incentives to opt for PV
- Prominent buildings as the Gwanghwamun Plaza, World Cup Park, Gwangjin Bridge and Magok District will be deployed with solar panels to make them landmark solar buildings
- For mid and large scale solar generation projects of around 1 MW, a new citizens’ fund will be introduced; and a community fund will be dedicated for small scale generation projects of around 100 kW capacity
South Korean capital Seoul want to become also a solar capital. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has affirmed its decision to power one out of every three households with solar panels by 2022. It will increase the ratio of installed solar energy 10 times from the current times, said Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon. The current contribution of solar in the city’s electricity mix is only 0.3%.
Unveiling its Solar City Seoul master plan, Park stated that 7 initiatives over a period of 5 years will be undertaken which will be subdivided further into 59 individual projects. The needed investment will be 1.7 trillion Won ($1.56 billion).
New public apartments and residential buildings will have to install solar systems on their rooftops as well as on the open space in the front of each home’s premises. As of now, only around 30,000 homes have installed solar panels on their verandas. Local media reported that the government estimates 1 million homes to start using solar power generated from their own premises by 2022. This will be divided between 630,000 apartment verandas, 150,000 houses and 220,000 buildings by 2022.
MORE SOLAR, LESS NUCLEAR
This translates into 1 GW of clean energy, equaling the capacity of one nuclear power plant.
Seoul has been working on a ‘One Less Nuclear Power Plant’ initiative since 2012. This has helped it reduce 3.66 million tons of oil equivalent of energy or capacity of two nuclear power plants, according to Korea JoongAng Daily.
Existing buildings will be offered incentives to go solar. Public buildings will also have to opt for solar panels for rooftops and on the grounds of their premises.
Instead of increasing subsidies, the administration will have Seoul Energy Corporation develop and distribute more solar products. “Supply could not keep up with demand for a program that subsidized the installation of solar panels on home rooftops, and although the central government subsidies will end next year, the city of Seoul has decided to provide these subsidies on its own,” reported The Hankyoreh.
Some prominent buildings as the Gwanghwamun Plaza, World Cup Park, Gwangjin Bridge and Magok District will be deployed with solar panels to make them stand out as solar energy landmarks or solar energy special districts. The street next to Gwanghwamun Plaza will be renamed solar street and its lights, benches and even trash cans will be equipped with solar panels. The World Cup Park will also be renovated as a solar energy park. Seoul wants to have at least three new energy-zero structures by 2022 that generate enough energy to run on their own.
Seoul has been working to involve general populace to invest in solar energy, not only by buying solar panels, but also funding. In 2015, it had launched the first round of a citizens’ fund. Now, for mid and large scale solar generation capacity of around 1 MW, a new citizens’ fund will be introduced, in cooperation with finance companies.
A community fund will be dedicated for small scale generation projects of 100 kW capacity.
BIG PLANS BUT LONG WAY TO GO
South Korea plans to stop using nuclear power completely in the long run and increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix by 2030 to 20%. A recent report of BNEF says South Korea along with seven other nations will account for 70% of energy storage deployments globally by 2030 (see Global Storage Market To Reach 305 GWh By 2030). However, there is quite some way to go – last year only around 1 GW of PV was installed, bringing the total installed solar capacity in South Korea to around 4.6 GW – that’s less than a tenth of what China installs this year alone.