As the mid and long term plan for the clean ocean energy development was newly established with the purpose of enhancing the competitiveness in the world market, and stimulating the supply of ocean energy, the strategic plan was proposed. The objective of the strategic plan is strengthening the support policy and securing the infrastructure plan. Especially, as the tidal current power has been newly included in the REC, the supply is expected to be stimulated. The funding on the development of the renewable energy is increasing under the control of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. In addition, the funding is focused on demonstration projects, and such projects are in progress, including the 300kW FPWEC, the 200kW ACHAT, and 200kW HOTEC.
SUPPORTING POLICIES FOR OCEAN ENERGY
NATIONAL STRATEGY AND TARGETS
The strategic plan for the “Mid-Term and Long-Term Clean Ocean Energy Development plan 2015 2025”has been recently established, which includes the national vision, long term goal, strategy, and an action plan for the new and renewable energy development for the period between 2015 and 2025. The strategy plan, which has been jointly developed by the MOF (Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries) and MOTIE (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy), was approved by the National Science and Technology Council in 2015.
The main objectives of the strategic plan are to set up a relevant R&D support programme, and to seek more efficient ways towards the ocean energy distribution. Meanwhile, the MOF updated the ocean energy R&D roadmap during 2015, where they planned to:
The initial target set before for the ocean energy distribution has significantly reduced down to 1.6% by 2025. Although the targeted distribution for the ocean energy was reduced, the second national energy master plan states that the overall targeted distribution for the new and renewable energy is increasing. It had been indicated that the ocean energy had difficulty of reaching its initial targeted value, due to stronger restrictions towards the environmental protection and reluctance of local residents.
Although there is no explicit legislation or regulation related to the ocean energy itself, the action towards the development of the renewable energy by the nation is in progress, with documents such as the “Framework Act on Low Carbon, Green Growth”, and the “Act on the Promotion of the Development, Use and Diffusion of New and Renewable Energy”. In addition, there is the “Energy Act” for national acts on the energy and various regulatory measures for the marine environment protection, such as the “Framework Act on Marine Fishery Development” and the “Marine Environment Management Act”.
Based on the “Act on the Promotion of the Development, Use and Diffusion of New and Renewable Energy”, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy could enforce the obligatory appliance of the renewable energy resources for public buildings. The thermal ocean energy for the air conditioning was approved to be one of the renewable energy resources, executing the renewable installation institution for public buildings in 2015.
The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) began in 2012, and was enforced in 13 utility companies with the capacity of over 500MW. According to the regulation, the renewable energy participated with 3.5% in the total electricity production in 2015.
The tradable Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is a market incentive that supplements the RPS policy. The value of REC varies depending on the type of generated resources and other factors, such as distance from coastline, capacity or installation method. For example, the REC of a tidal barrage with embankment is 1.0, while the tidal barrage without embankment and tidal current is 2.0s. RECs for the wave energy and thermal ocean energy still have to be determined.
The price of the renewable energy for a domestic market is determined by the summation of the REC price and the System Marginal Price (SMP). As of March 2015, the price of the SMP and REC is 11 cents/kWh and 8 cents/kWh
PUBLIC FUNDING PROGRAMMES
The MOF and MOTIE provide public funding for RD&D and installation promotion programmes for the renewables, including the ocean energy. The RD&D programme of MOF mainly funds demonstration projects under the “Practical Ocean Energy Technology Development Programme,” while the MOTIE is responsible for the fundamental R&D projects under the “New and Renewable Technology Development Programme”. In addition, the MOTIE runs/manages the renewable installation promotion programme, where it partly funds the installation of the renewable related facilities. However, at the moment, ocean energy is not being considered as the part of the programme.
MARINE SPATIAL PLANNING POLICY
Although there is no specific legislation for the marine spatial planning alone, the legal base for the offshore energy power production is governed and implemented by different national and domestic authorities. The MOF has the Public Water Management & Reclamation Act (Act No. 11690, 2013), and it provides the framework and the general law governing the management of public water when installing the structure or using it. One may install a structure in accordance with either of the Acts, but depending on their governing laws, applicable management requirements may differ. Preselected area for ocean energy has not been defined yet, although there are legal considerations to be made in the process of site selecting primarily by the Public Water Management & Reclamation Act and Coast Management Act. Construction of the demonstrative offshore wind turbine of Jeju Island was carried out based on the assessment above mentioned.
PERMITTING AND LICENSING PROCESS FOR OCEAN
The consenting process can be classified in to 2 levels. The first consenting level is for public waters management and reclamation, which lasts for approximately 20-30 years after its development. The other consenting level is necessary for offshore construction only, which is a shorter process that lasts 2-3 years. In general, the procedures below follow the steps of the demonstrative offshore wind turbine project held on Jeju Island.
The feasibility study for the construction of test beds for the wave and the tidal energy devices has been carried out, which mainly details plans to utilize the newly built demonstrative ocean energy plant sites as possible sea test sites. The areas that are suggested to be used as test beds include the Uldolmok tidal power plant, Yongsoo OWC wave energy plant on Jeju Island, and Goseong ocean thermal energy plant.
There is no active sea test site that is currently open for use in the Republic of Korea (ROK). However, a construction of the wave energy test bed of 5MW capacity with 5 berths will begin in 2016.