Wind farm rules eased for forest development

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Wind farm rules eased for forest development

Wind energy regulations are to be eased so wind farms can be built in national forests, in line with broader efforts to boost renewable energy production.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Friday that it reached an agreement with the ruling party to accelerate development in wind power inland.

Korea only built 133 megawatts of new wind capacity in the first half of this year, 20.4 percent of its new capacity target for wind power during that period.

In 2018, it met 84 percent of its capacity target, building 168 megawatts. New solar power capacity in 2018 was 143 percent of the target for the year.

The government wants renewable energy production to account for 20 percent of total power by 2030.

Last year, renewable energy accounted for 6.2 percent of all power generated in Korea.

The government hopes a focus on wind power away from the coastlines will help meet the goals.

Most of Korea’s wind farms are located near shores due to the difficult terrain and opposition from residents.

The government said it will write regulations to conditionally approve wind power generators in forested areas in national parks.

Such construction was previously banned.

“In order to achieve renewable energy targets, inland wind energy is very important,” said Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo. “We expect the measure to expand wind power in a way that allows for both energy production and environmental preservation.”

The latest government effort comes after Korea introduced its largest wind farm, rated at 79.6 megawatts, earlier this year in Yeonggwang County, North Jeolla.

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