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Publication - Can Biomass Qualify as Renewable Energy? The State of Biomass Policy in South Korea

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Can Biomass Qualify as Renewable Energy? The State of Biomass Policy in South Korea
Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC)
Soojin Kim, Joojin Kim, Solutions For Our Climate (SFOC)
Published in
April 2020
A new report from Solutions For Our Climate (SFOC) analyzes recent trends in biomass energy in South Korea, and highlights the key risks and policy drivers of the country’s deep-rooted biomass problem. The report, launched on Earth Day, finds that biomass is the most subsidized renewable energy source in South Korea, and that utilities have been fulfilling their renewable energy quota mostly through biomass, thanks to various forms of subsidies. We hope that this report sheds a light on the risks of promoting biomass as a viable source of renewable energy, and calls for urgent policy actions among decision makers. Korea’s ruling Democratic Party has set ambitious goals to meet the carbon neutrality goal by 2050 through the Korean Green New Deal, and the Moon Jae-in administration is now obligated to implement this agenda. However, bioenergy should not be seen as an alternative to fossil fuels in the country’s climate roadmap, and it is important to recognize that due to the burning of biomass, both forest destruction and greenhouse gases are on the rise.