South Korea Needs To Revamp Green Energy Regulations: Climate Group Head

(MENAFN- IANS) Seoul, May 21 (IANS) South Korea needs to modify regulations to accelerate its transition to renewable energy sources, enabling the sector to compete on a level playing field with traditional fossil fuels, the head of a renewable energy advocacy group said on Tuesday.

"Technology is moving very fast. And somehow regulation has to keep up," Helen Clarkson, who heads the London-based Climate Group, said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency, noting that South Korea should seek to "level the playing field" with the fossil fuel sector.

Clarkson was visiting South Korea to take part in the Asia Renewables Growth Forum 2024 to promote the RE100, a global initiative aimed at shifting to 100 per cent renewable power to tackle climate change, reports Yonhap.

For example, she noted that solar panels are more widely used in Britain compared with Asia's No. 4 economy, including on rooftops or parking lots, even though South Korea receives more sunshine.

"So what is the barrier to Korea doing that? It's actually regulations. So there's a lot of regulations, and over half of Korean districts have a regulation that says you can't put solar on domestic settings or near roads," Clarkson said.

"We know how markets work, supply and demand. So it's just getting those market dynamics moving," she added.

"I think it's slowing things down. Maybe a bit in Korea is picking one problem with renewable energy and focusing on that, and we need to kind of take a step back and understand the whole energy."

Touching on nuclear energy, Clarkson mentioned that the Climate Group is not advocating for shutting down nuclear plants and acknowledges that the sector will continue to play a global role. However, the official emphasised that countries need to recognize that nuclear energy is "not an easy solution to the carbon problem".

"There's other technologies which are much easier to deploy, you can get them out there now," she said.

"And essentially what you need to do is to minimise the amount of nuclear power that you might need in the future by deploying all the technologies. It's really understanding the energy mix. It's about understanding energy demand and how the system needs to operate, and then getting as much carbon reduction done as quickly," Clarkson added.

Clarkson noted that addressing climate change is an issue that needs to be addressed jointly by advanced and developing countries.



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