The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it is the first municipality in Korea to pay a subsidy according to the volume of electricity to be generated for five years following the installation of small solar power plants with an output of 50 kW or less each. The measure forms part of its Sunshine City Seoul campaign, and represents the city’s push to proactively address the situation wherein organizations in the city have been reluctant to install solar power plants in the Seoul region due to the relatively shorter duration of sunlight in Seoul compared with other regions, high construction costs, and higher rents.
The solar energy assistance policy was changed from the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) method to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) method, a system for promoting competition between power plants, in 2012. As a result, smaller solar power producers with inferior price competiveness have seen their operational conditions deteriorate. To address this problem and to promote the installation of small solar power plants in Seoul, the city has decided to provide the new subsidy.
The city, which recently completed the largest solar power plant in the greater Seoul region, at the Amsa Arisu Water Purification Center, said, “The new assistance system has been introduced to assist small solar power plant operators run by cooperatives managed directly by citizens, which face difficulties due to the geological characteristics of the city and intensified competition with large-scale power plants,” adding, “We hope that the assistance system will encourage more citizens to participate more actively, and thus lead to the installation of more small solar power plants in the Seoul region.”