South Korean authorities have identified 5,359 examples of illegal use of subsidies for renewable energy plants selected in tenders between 2019 and 2021.
The agency reported 5,359 cases of illegal fund management, 3,010 of which involved solar projects that inflated installation costs from excessive loans through bidding. The cases mainly concern illegal lending, illegal granting of subsidies and falsification of tenders.
This is the second investigation into the South Korean authorities’ granting of renewable energy subsidies. The first investigation found 2,267 cases of illegal fund management in 12 local governments during the five-year term of the previous government.
South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) recently lowered the feed-in tariff policy and renewable energy certificates (REC) pursuant to the issuance the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) system from 2023 onwards. This resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the bid size for solar power under the REC scheme from 2,000 MW 1000MW.
South Korea’s Energy Agency held two 4GW solar tenders, awarding capacity in 2GW and 2.2GW rounds in 2021 and 1.2GW and 1.4GW contracts in 2020.
South Korea has 20.9 GW of installed solar capacity, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).