Following the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) launched its ’One Less Nuclear Power Plant’ (OLNPP) initiative to displace 23 TWh (2 million TOE) of centralized energy generation, equivalent to the generation in 2011 of Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant Units 1 and 2 (9 TWh or 0.8 MTOE) plus saving 14 TWh (1.2 MTOE) of oil and liquefied natural gas consumption by the end of 2014. SMG completed its phase 1 target to replace 23 TWh of centralized energy with a combination of energy efficiency and decentralized energy by June 2014, delivering its 2 year target 6 months early!
Following the completion of phase 1, SMG launched phase 2 of OLNPP as the Seoul Sustainable Energy Action Plan to displace 46.5 TWh (4 million TOE) of centralized energy generation with a combination of energy efficiency and decentralized energy by 2020. Phases 1 and 2 combined will reduce 2011 greenhouse gas emissions by 20.5% (10 million tonnes of CO2e a year) and increase Seoul’s decentralized energy supply to 20% of the city’s energy consumption by 2020.
Whilst SMG was able to deliver its phase 1 target quickly with a large scale program of works it was recognized that phase 2 will take a little longer to deliver as much of the program of works will have to be carried out in the residential and private sector areas of the city as well as requiring more significant renewable energy generation within and beyond Seoul. For this, SMG would need a delivery agency that could operate outside of traditional local government areas.
Seoul Energy Corporation
The Seoul International Energy Advisory Council (SIEAC) originally advised SMG in 2014 that it would need to establish a Seoul Energy Corporation as the delivery agency to deliver the phase 2 program of works. The SIEAC continued to advise SMG on the establishment of the Seoul Energy Corporation and Allan Jones undertook an Energy Corporation Workshop with SMG in 2015.
Following the advice of SIEAC that Seoul would need an agency to supervise energy policies and lead the phase 2 program of works, SMG established a construction plan in July 2015, reviewed the validity of the plan in January 2016 and then established the relevant governance and ordinances of the proposed Corporation in July 2016. The Seoul Energy Corporation was registered as a public corporation of the SMG in December 2016 and officially launched in February 2017.
This was followed by a more extensive Municipal Energy Corporation Workshop undertaken by the International Energy Advisory Council (IEAC). The IEAC provided case studies of municipal energy corporations from different cities around the world, focusing on the process, difficulties encountered, governance and the success of the corporations in delivering the city’s targets. For more information on the IEAC Workshop, see prospectus and program:
Phase 2 Sustainable Energy Action Plan
The goals of the Seoul Energy Corporation are to continue with implementing the One Less Nuclear Power Plant program of works to deliver SMG’s phase 2 target. As part of its “Open Energy World for Citizens”, the Corporation will implement four key projects to encourage energy independence in Seoul:
- Decentralized energy supply.
- Alternative transport vehicles and energy efficiency.
- Energy sharing.
- Interregional cooperation.
Decentralized Energy Supply
The Corporation will establish a “virtuous energy circulation structure” in which Seoul will be transformed from an energy consuming city to an energy producing city by reducing energy demand, supplying more new and renewable energy and recovering unused thermal energy such as recovering wastewater heat. By 2020, the Corporation will have completed the Magok Trigeneration Plant to supply low carbon district heating and cooling to an additional 75,000 homes.
The Corporation will also expand on its new and renewable energy generation facilities by installing an additional 70 MW of solar PV and 90 MW of fuel cells by 2020. In addition, it will construct a Total Service Center in four regions by 2020, in order to distribute mini solar PVs for home use to reduce the costs of the centralized energy progressive electricity pricing scheme.
Alternative Transport Vehicles and Energy Efficiency
The Corporation will increase the number of electric vehicles to 10,000 by 2018 to reduce transport energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, the Corporation will install a renewable energy station demonstration project called “Solar Station” that will charge with solar energy and store the remaining electricity. In addition, the Corporation will provide “Electric Car Life-Cycle Management Service” encompassing the purchase, charging, resale and disuse of electric vehicles in 2017, and launch the “EV Loan” scheme to provide Seoul citizens with low interest loans to purchase an electric car.
The Corporation will also establish the “Seoul Energy Management System” by 2020 in order to reduce the energy consumption of high energy consuming public facilities such as water treatment plants, sewage treatment centers and hospitals by between 5% and 10% using building energy management systems and information technology.
The Corporation will work on developing the “Seoul Energy Welfare Model” to provide low income households with customized four-season energy welfare services. The Corporation will proactively find and support economically disadvantaged households in association with door-to-door community centers.
The Corporation will finance energy welfare funds from some of the profits that it earns and develop a variety of projects to improve the energy efficiency of residential premises in addition to providing subsidies and air conditioning units. The Corporation will also open and operate various education programs to cultivate energy experts and promote energy self-sufficiency and sharing in local communities by supporting youth ventures and energy cooperatives.
In order to resolve the inconveniences suffered by residents living near nuclear power plants or thermal power plants that may be supplying Seoul the Corporation will implement mutual growth projects and cooperative projects, such as construction of solar power plants, in partnership with other local governments. The Corporation will take the initiative in realizing a nuclear-free society by producing and distributing a manual of the One Less Nuclear Power Plant project and spreading their energy saving and decentralized energy knowhow.
The Corporation will spread the value of mutual growth to realize energy democracy in cooperation with other local governments. Its major cooperative projects include the solar energy generation, certified emission reduction and energy welfare projects. In conjunction with the local communities, the Corporation will carry out a variety of new and renewable energy projects such as solar and wind farms. As Seoul is limited in constructing large scale solar and wind power plants due to its environmental and geographical limitations, the Corporation will ultimately contribute to spreading new and renewable energy generation in collaboration with other regions with more favorable conditions.
Representatives from six cities with nuclear power plants attended the Seoul Energy Corporation launch to demonstrate their support for the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s initiatives in turning existing nuclear power plants into stranded assets and preventing new nuclear power plants from being built.
Allan Jones MBE
27 July 2017