South Korean solar sector contests ‘unconstitutional’ biomass incentives

Dozens of solar companies are claiming renewable energy certificates issued for “wood-burning” biomass technology are unconstitutional as most such facilities are fueled by wood pellets co-fired with coal in older power plants. A constitutional court decision is expected within two years.SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 EMILIANO BELLINI

Solar companies pointed to the coal-fired power station shutdowns triggered in the nation by air pollution last year.

Image: Hanwha Q Cells

Some 63 South Korean entities have filed a lawsuit at the country’s constitutional court alleging subsidies for biomass projects are unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs, which include 27 solar companies, claim the majority of “wood-burning” biomass facilities are fueled with wood pellets co-fired with coal in older power plants and point out the country had to temporarily suspend operations at a quarter of its coal-fired power plants last year to combat air pollution.

“Data from the plant operators themselves show that biomass plants can emit even more air pollution per megawatt-hour than coal plants, yet the Korean government is increasingly dependent on bioenergy to meet our renewable energy goals, stunting the growth of vital zero-emissions technologies like solar power,” said Joojin Kim, MD of Seoul-based non-profit Solutions For Our Climate.

A decision on the case is expected within two years

The solar companies claim bioenergy projects, including biomass and biogas, received nearly 40% of the renewable energy certificates (RECs) issued by the South Korean government under its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) scheme between 2014 and 2018, more than any other renewable energy source. RECs can be sold to power companies unable to otherwise fulfill their renewable energy requirements, on a market basis.

Popular content

Trina Solar makes new 15 GW module announcement28 SEPTEMBER 2020The Chinese giant now has plans in place to hit more than 50 GW of panel capacity – and 26 GW of cell lines – next year. September 28, 2020 Vincent S…Half-cut, bifacial, 22.5%-efficient PERC modules from Vietnam23 SEPTEMBER 2020Chinese solar manufacturer Dehui is planning mass production of 12-busbar bifacial panels based on 182mm wafers from next year. Dehui’s current, 166m…The world’s highest utility-scale solar plus storage project30 SEPTEMBER 2020Built in Gangba County, in Xigaze, Tibet, the 40 MW/193 MWh facility was deployed at more than 4,700m above sea level and is functioning as a demonst…Cooling PV panels with regasification of liquefied natural gas2 OCTOBER 2020Researchers in Israel have suggested the use of regasification of liquefied natural gas to reduce the operating temperature of PV modules in solar pa…Agrivoltaics for pear orchards2 OCTOBER 2020Belgian researchers are testing agrivoltaic power generation in a pear orchard. The first pilot project features specially designed 185 W solar panel…Hiring for solar jobs during a pandemic28 SEPTEMBER 2020In spite of industry-wide job loss and economic slowdown associated with the pandemic, Kevin Gillespie, president of Headline Solar, shares how he ha…Trina Solar makes new 15 GW module announcement28 SEPTEMBER 2020The Chinese giant now has plans in place to hit more than 50 GW of panel capacity – and 26 GW of cell lines – next year. September 28, 2020 Vincent S…Half-cut, bifacial, 22.5%-efficient PERC modules from Vietnam23 SEPTEMBER 2020Chinese solar manufacturer Dehui is planning mass production of 12-busbar bifacial panels based on 182mm wafers from next year. Dehui’s current, 166m…The world’s highest utility-scale solar plus storage project30 SEPTEMBER 2020Built in Gangba County, in Xigaze, Tibet, the 40 MW/193 MWh facility was deployed at more than 4,700m above sea level and is functioning as a demonst…Cooling PV panels with regasification of liquefied natural gas2 OCTOBER 2020Researchers in Israel have suggested the use of regasification of liquefied natural gas to reduce the operating temperature of PV modules in solar pa…Agrivoltaics for pear orchards2 OCTOBER 2020Belgian researchers are testing agrivoltaic power generation in a pear orchard. The first pilot project features specially designed 185 W solar panel…Hiring for solar jobs during a pandemic28 SEPTEMBER 2020In spite of industry-wide job loss and economic slowdown associated with the pandemic, Kevin Gillespie, president of Headline Solar, shares how he ha…Trina Solar makes new 15 GW module announcement28 SEPTEMBER 2020The Chinese giant now has plans in place to hit more than 50 GW of panel capacity – and 26 GW of cell lines – next year. September 28, 2020 Vincent S…

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Under the Korean RPS, solar generation capacity in South Korea grew from 1,024 MW in 2012 to 11,768 MW last year and around 90% of the solar capacity added from 2014-16 secured RECs. Between 2012 and last year, Korea’s biomass capacity rose from 100 MW to 1.5 GW. Biomass-powered electricity rose from 106,023 in 2012 to 6,490,437 MWh in 2018.

The renewable portfolio standard, introduced in 2012, requires utilities with at least 500 MW of power generation capacity to provide a percentage of their electricity from renewables – a definition which encompasses solar, wind, biomass, biogas, waste-to-energy, landfill gas, tidal, hydro and integrated gasification combined cycle technology.

With power companies currently required to source 7% of their electricity from clean energy, failure to meet the quota is penalized by 150% of the cost of the REC shortfall. The RECs issued to renewable energy producers in Korea carry different weights, depending on the technology used.

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: editors@pv-magazine.com.

Trả lời

Mời bạn điền thông tin vào ô dưới đây hoặc kích vào một biểu tượng để đăng nhập:

WordPress.com Logo

Bạn đang bình luận bằng tài khoản WordPress.com Đăng xuất /  Thay đổi )

Google photo

Bạn đang bình luận bằng tài khoản Google Đăng xuất /  Thay đổi )

Twitter picture

Bạn đang bình luận bằng tài khoản Twitter Đăng xuất /  Thay đổi )

Facebook photo

Bạn đang bình luận bằng tài khoản Facebook Đăng xuất /  Thay đổi )

Connecting to %s