The purpose of this study is to provide valuable information and data by analyzing the environmental status and potential forrenewable energy projects (or plans) based on environmental assessment (EA) data, so that more objective and scientific environmental assessments can be conducted. The study also suggests regional directions that could satisfy the goals of nature conservation and renewable energy. Based on the analysis of EA data that was conducted up until June 2019, the study analyzed the size, location and characteristics of both onshore wind power and onshore photovoltaic. The environmentally available potential by region was also derived by considering the main constraints and requirements related to the potential siting ofrenewable energy projects at the EA.
Based on EA data, 63 out of 80 (79%) onshore wind power projects are shown to be located in mountainous areas. For onshore photovoltaic projects, a total of 7,363 projects were subjected to environmental assessment over the country. The environmentally potential area for onshore wind power, considering all the environmental regulatory factors, is 2,440 km2. For onshore photovoltaic, the environmentally available area estimated as idle farmland is 2,877 km2.
The distribution and characteristics of the environmentally available potential of the region may be the most important factor that local governments should bear in mind in terms of promoting renewable energy development projects in the region. Based on the results of this study, even if we consider the national energy plan including the expected future increase, as well as environmental goals and socio-economic acceptance through an environmental assessment, the available resources forrenewable energy projects are not insufficient. It is possible to examine the adequacy of the target distribution rate of renewable energy sources by region taking into consideration the quantitative and scientific results such as the environmentally available potential data derived from this study.