It’s doubtful if Korea’s natural environment befits wind energy
Regulations governing inland wind power generation will be eased in line with the government’s plan to boost renewable energy. What’s noticeable in this latest energy plan is that wind power plants can be built in state-owned forests. Specifically, wind farms may be conditionally allowed even in forested areas where the environment must be preserved.
The ministry underscores the need to boost wind power, saying the renewable energy source is highly effective in cutting greenhouse gases and has the potential to become a new growth engine. Nevertheless, the development of inland wind power has been sluggish. Korea built only 133 megawatts of new wind power stations in the first half of this year, 20.4 percent of its target. In 2018, Korea built 168 megawatts, 84 percent of its capacity goal.
The government’s fresh eagerness for wind power comes from the slow development of other renewable energy sources. Construction of solar power plants is facing hurdles amid alleged irregularities involving those close to the Moon Jae-in administration. Furthermore, offshore wind power projects are sluggish owing to fishermen’s protests.
It’s doubtful though if Korea’s natural environment befits wind power generation. Wind speed in Korea is slow in general and wind power production varies with the seasons. Imported wind power generators are dominating the market with our wind power industry still in its infancy.
Most worrying is the possible destruction of the environment following the promotion of inland wind farms. It would be shameful if our natural ecosystems, which have been preserved laboriously for decades, are ruined by the spread of inland wind farms.
The most fundamental problem is that the Moon administration’s energy policy ― highlighting the phase-out of nuclear power ― may be going in the wrong direction. President Moon needs to reconsider his unrealistic goal of meeting 20 percent of electricity demand with renewable energy by 2030.