Seoul is encouraging decentralized energy from SOFC, BIPV, and mini-PVs

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Seoul Special City | Balcony-type mini-PV plants on Shinil Happy Tree Apartments, Seodaemun-gu

Seoul is encouraging its citizens to adopt more diverse distributed power sources with policy revisions and financial supports.

The rule now revised is the “Seoul Renewable Energy Production Calculation Guide.” With the revision, the city added SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) to the list of techs which can be used to meet mandatory clean energy production installation requirement for new buildings. Seoul is demanding new buildings with over 3,000m2 of the total floor area to have clean energy installation.

Another technology to benefit from the City’s move forward on-site generation is BIPV (Building-integrated photovoltaics). Seoul explained that the former standard had accessed generation efficiency only, forcing developers to choose “crude-looking” systems. Now the revised rule recognizes BIPV configurations by the surface area, not efficiency. The city also promised up to 80% installation grant for high-tech/design-centric BIPV installations.

New commercial buildings are not the only beneficiaries of Seoul’s plan. The city also stated at the end of March that it has started a grant program to support the installation of ‘mini-PV plant,’ which can be installed on balcony. Seoul allocated a total of KRW 17.3 billion for the program which will help 50,200 homes.

Image by Seoul Special City | Closer look on a balcony-type mini-PV plant

Seoul posted a list of eligible PV system suppliers (18 companies) and products (53 products) for the program. Seoul provides KRW 1,200 per 1W capacity for installations under 500W. Between 500W and 1kW, the city grants KRW 700 per watt. Tenants, not only owners, can apply for the program. The application has started on March 31.

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