South Korea Opens its Renewable Energy Market to PPAs

Power purchase agreements will be allowed between renewable energy producers owning plants with a capacity of more than 1 MW and electricity consumers. Local utility Kepco, however, will keep serving as an intermediary.

South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) has announced it will allow domestic electricity consumers to buy power from renewable energy power producers through power purchase agreements (PPAs).

“Both industrial and general consumers of electricity can participate in the K-RE100 system through registration at the state-run Korea Energy Agency. Electricity from renewable sources will be procured through the green premium system … third-party power purchase agreement[s] (PPA), the purchase of renewable energy certificates (REC), or self-generation,” MOTIE said in a statement.

The K-RE100 initiative is aimed at making South Korea fully powered by renewable energy by 2050. The new rules are expected to be defined in the upcoming weeks and should enter into force “early this year,” the government said.

Currently, Korean consumers can buy electricity exclusively from state-owned utility Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco), which collects all power produced in the country from energy providers and independent power producers. According to local media outlet The Korea Times, however, Kepco is expected to act as an intermediary between the seller and the buyer. “The revision allows renewable power companies whose generation capacity exceeds 1 MW to sign a trilateral supply agreement with Kepco and the consumer, so Kepco can relay the power transaction,” the newspaper reported.


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