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Research Reports
Analysis system for regional environmental status to support environmental assessment : the status and potential of i) onshore wind power generation and ii) floating photovoltaic power generation
The purpose of this study is to provide valuable information and data by analyzing the environmental status and capacity of a target area including neighboring region for the development project (or plan) based on spatial and temporal environmental changes, so that more objective and scientific environmental assessment can be conducted. It is necessary to establish a comprehensive analysis system to examine the feasibility of the development project (or plan) based on the quantitative analysis techniques and the environmental assessment data accumulated over the past 30 years.
The government is pursuing an energy policy to increase the ratio of renewable energy to 20% by 2030. According to the government’s announcement of the ‘New Renewable 3020 Implementation Plan’ to expand renewable energy, it is necessary to supply 53GW of new power generation facilities by 2030, the target year. In the third volume, based on the analysis of the environment assessment that has been conducted so far on the onshore wind power generation and floating photovoltaic power generation, this study seeks to find ways for energy expansion to minimize the problems that can occur due to conflict of excellent renewable energy resource distribution area with nature conservation area.
First, we analyzed the size and location of the onshore wind power project based on 70 EIA data conducted from 2002 to 2017. Up to now, it has been confirmed that a total of 818 wind turbines are installed with a total capacity of 1,875㎿. Assuming 20% ooof the effective facility capacity, it is capable of generating about 40% of the capacity of 1,000㎿ nuclear power station.
54 out of 70 (77%) projects are located in mountainous areas. Considering the natural conditions requiring the wind speed more than average wind speed 6.4㎧, the potential for wind power is concentrated in the mountains where the potential of wind power is high. However, a considerable part of such potential areas for onshore wind power generation is overlapped with a first grade nature protected area adjacent to major mountain ridges as well.
It will be necessary for the government to carefully check out the validity of the onshore wind power project in a systematic manner considering the environmental value, economic efficiency and social acceptability. There can be various solutions that can coexist with expansion of renewable energy. It will be the first step to monitor the impact on the environment to induce a possible stepwise increase of the preexisting power generation facility continuously.
Second, technical, environmental, and social considerations related to location and size were derived based on 16 data for floating photovoltaic power generation projects registered in EIASS by September 2017. We also estimated the development potential of floating photovoltaic power generation for 3,397 agricultural reservoirs nationwide.
Even if floating photovoltaic power generation satisfies the policy of expanding and distributing renewable energy and recognition of development merit, it should be possible to utilize or accept it in terms of technical, environmental and socio-economic aspects.
Of the total 3,280㎿ of potential resources nationwide, the technical potential of available resources was estimated to be 2,438㎿ at 620 reservoirs. Assuming that the floating photovoltaic power generation efficiency is 30%, the actual generation amount can be estimated to be about 731㎿. Next, the environmental potential was calculated by extracting reservoirs that drought recurrence interval is complicated by a 5-year period and are not located in the first grade of environmental protection area. As a result, 262 reservoirs out of 620 reservoirs with a technical potential have a total environmental potential of 910㎿.
Finally, the social potential is excluded from reservoirs that are considered to be of high value as rural amenity. Therefore, a total of 593㎿ potential was calculated from 199 reservoirs. This social potentiality estimation is an approach to consider difficult problems among the water-stakeholder using available data, but the deviation of the social potential can be relatively large because of different viewpoints.
Floating photovoltaic power generation can solve the problem of environmental degradation of large-scale land-based photovoltaic power generation, and at the same time, it can utilize preexisting dams and reservoirs as resources. In addition, the growth potential of water using the agricultural reservoir as of 2017 is only 1.4% compared to the technical potential.
However, due to the fact that the floating photovoltaic power generation project is relatively in the beginning stage, there may be many uncertainties and risks in terms of environmental and social impacts. it is therefore not easy to draw social consensus among stakeholders in a short period of time even if environmental and safety are verified. Therefore, the expansion strategy of floating photovoltaic power generation should seek ways to institutionally improve the above-mentioned problems in the mid- to long-term. At the same time, it is also possible to identify the development potential in location and size, set the distribution target, and then pursue the project according to the priority.