South Korea’s offshore wind industry suffers from a slow and unclear permitting procedure which currently bars about 98% of the projects in development, shows a new study by Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC).
The Seoul-based group advocating for stronger climate policies and reforms in power regulations has found that 70 offshore wind projects have obtained electric business licences in South Korea as of September 2022. This represents 20.8 GW of combined potential capacity versus a 2030 target of 12 GW.
However, to date, only four projects, or 2% of all, totalling 548 MW have managed to complete the more than 10-year-long permitting process in the country, and only two of them are now operational.
“What South Korea lacks are not technical capabilities or interest from developers. Rather, it is the absence of a clear permitting procedure,” said Eunbyeol Jo, head of the renewable permitting team at SFOC.
Since 2021, the Korean National Assembly has been keeping on hold, in subcommittee review, a bill that calls for government-led maritime zoning and permit centralisation. Jo stressed that it should be the government’s responsibility to designate offshore wind zones and that having a dedicated public agency to do so can significantly speed up growth in the sector.
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