Korea announces new incentives to boost solar energy adoption in homes

Green growth is one of Korea's key national projects. The government unveiled a new set of incentives today to give an extra push on that front. Our Kwon Jangho reports… these measures are designed to encourage the adoption of solar energy in residential areas, both urban and rural. Starting next year, households in Korea that install solar panels on a detached home will be able to receive government subsidies worth up to 50 percent of the cost. That's more than double the current level of 20 percent. Owners of apartments who put up solar panels will also be eligible for an additional 25-percent subsidy on top of the 50-percent they already get. The new incentives are part of a government plan to increase solar energy adoption in private homes… from the current 240-thousand households to 700-thousand by 2020. Solar panel usage in schools is also set to increase from one-thousand to 34-hundred.

The trade ministry also announced that homes and schools that sell their excess power to utility companies will be able to secure longer fixed-priced deals with them. Currently at 12 years, the deals will be extended to 20 years, ensuring longer stable earnings in the volatile energy market. The plans are part of a greater objective of cutting the nation's carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change that came into effect on November 1st. Currently, renewable sources account for 4-point-five percent of electricity the country generates, and the target is to increase that to 11-percent by 2025. That's expected to help reach the target of reducing emissions by 37-percent by 2030 set by Korea last year. Kwon Jang-Ho, Arirang News.