Asia Business Channel

Chinese companies benefit from South Korea's push for renewable energy

South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced on Feb. 14 that it supplied 2,989 MW of renewable energy facilities last year. The figure was 72% above the target for 2018 that was set in the government’s Renewable Energy Plan.

According to MOTIE, "New facilities increased 19.8% compared to the previous year, showing that there is big potential for expansion of green energy supply." However, Korean made solar power generation devices and equipment have a dwindling share of the domestic market.

Although solar power generation facilities have expanded, the market share of domestic products is at a standstill. In the case of solar panels, Korean companies’ share in the domestic market dropped from 81.8% in 2014 to 72.5% in 2018, while that of Chinese companies grew from 17.5% in 2014 to 27.5% in 2018. This is because demand for cheap Chinese products has been on the rise.

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South Korea's supply of renewable energy facilities in 2018 was 72% above projections

As large renewable energy complexes have been built in Korea, protests by residents in such areas have been growing. Residents are concerned about damage to the environment and landscapes in and around their villages.

In particular, Korea Rural Community Corp.’s floating solar power generation system project is facing strong backlash nationwide. Accordingly, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food an Rural Affairs has temporarily suspended its plan to invest more than $6.7 billion USD to install floating solar power generation systems in 900 reservoirs nationwide until it receives the approval of local citizens and municipalities.

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