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Report: Green Energy Projects to Damage Environment

Posted March. 15, 2010 09:29,   


Projects to develop renewable energy sources including solar and wind power are paradoxically damaging the environment despite their intent to cut CO2 emissions, a state-run think tank said yesterday.

The Korea Environment Institute said, “A solar power plant built in Bonghwa County, North Gyeongsang Province, that will cut carbon dioxide volume will produce a smaller value than the environmental value lost due to environmental degradation stemming from the project. Hence, 15 years of plant operation will cause 38.1 billion won (34 million U.S. dollars) in net value losses.”

The institute released the report “Evaluation of the eco-friendliness of renewable energy, and environmentally friendly development.”

○ Massive forestry damage, little gains

According to the report, the Bonghwa plant, which was built over thick forest measuring 1.43 million square meters, generates 140 megawatts of electricity daily. The effect of the power generated at the plant to replace that produced by fossil fuel, when calculated in the volume of carbon dioxide, is 21,728 tons.

The institute then converted the volume into the cumulative gains expected from the trading of carbon emission rights, and compared the figure to the value of damaged forests due to the construction of the plant.