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A Comparative Law Study on Improvements to the Korean Legal System for the Promotion of Development of Deep Underground Geothermal Energy

  • Public Land Law Review
  • Abbr : KPLLR
  • 2012, 56(), pp.17-47
  • Publisher : Korean Public Land Law Association
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law

Choi, Inho 1

1충남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The promotion of renewable energy technologies is one of the essential solutions to global climate change, prevalent environmental pollution problems, energy insecurity, and the maintenance of long-term national competitiveness. Among other renewable energy resources, deep underground geothermal energy resources have many strengths, which include unlimited resource potential, high reliability in supply, and environmental friendliness relative to other renewable resources. However, deep underground geothermal energy resource developers face formidable regulatory barriers due to the absence of specific permitting procedures under the current Korean legal system, which are specifically designed to consider geothermal energy characteristics. Based on the examination of Australian, American, and German cases, this Article proposes that geothermal energy resources be classified as mineral resources with possible national ownership under the Mining Law. It also adds that special provisions relating to geothermal energy projects must be inserted into the revised Mining Law in order to reflect the characteristics of geothermal energy exploration projects. On the other hand, the Article argues that RD&D support for the facilitation of drilling and exploration technologies be strengthened, together with an urgent need for the reconsideration of recent national policy that chooses to switch to renewable portfolio standards (RPS) from feed-in tariffs (FIT).

Citation status

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