Korea embraces localised clean energy generation

22 March 2006 – South Korea’s attempts to encourage greater use of small scale generation have taken another step forward as GE announced it had installed over 2000 of its solar modules in the country and the government outlined the start of a new home fuel cell initiative.

GE Energy was recently selected to provide 2010 GEPV-75 W solar modules, for installation the Mara Island. Seoul based AstroKorea was commissioned by the Mara Island local government, Nam Jeju-gun, to develop a 150 kW solar power system in December last year. Kwangdong Electric Co., a local Jeju Island based company was contracted to install the system.

South Korea has introduced a range of initiatives designed to develop localised clean energy generation. Last week the country’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy announced it would invest a total of Won 41bn ($42m) to develop a 1 kW fuel cell that would enable households to generate heat and electricity for their own use.

The project aims to have developed a fuel cell by 2011 that generates heat and electricity from hydrogen acquired from LNG.

A spokesman for the ministry said: “The key to this project is a fuel cell that will be commercialized for household use.”

The spokesman highlighted that at Won 130m, the current fuel cells in the 1 kW to 3 kW range are too expensive for widespread use. A major goal of the new fuel cell project is to drive the price down to Won 10m.