• Service: Tax
  • Type: Regulatory update
  • Date: 9/24/2014

South Korea 

Taxes and Incentives
South Korea Taxes and incentives for renewable energy KPMG Global Energy & Natural Resources.

Support schemes

Investment and other subsidies

In 2004, the South Korean government passed the Act on the Promotion of the Development, Use And Diffusion of New And Renewable Energy (the Act). With the goal of becoming one of the five largest producers of new and renewable energy, the government has announced that a total of 40 trillion South Korean won (KRW) (EUR25.8 billion, USD34.2 billion) will be invested in renewable energy by 2015.

This investment includes KRW22.4 trillion invested by the nation’s 30 largest industrial groups by 2013, KRW7 trillion of government contribution, and KRW10.6 trillion from other private sectors. South Korea has already seen substantial financial investment in renewable energy in recent years, including KRW1.8trillion (EUR1.3 billion, USD1.8 billion) from the government in the last 2 years (2012 – 2013).

According to the second national energy plan announced in January 2014, the former renewable energy target, 11 percent of the total energy supply from renewable sources by 2030, has been reaffirmed.

To reach this goal, the government is implementing initiatives in four major areas:

  • strategic R&D and commercialization
  • promotion of industrialization and market creation
  • promotion of exports of new and renewable energy products
  • infrastructure development.

Operating subsidies

Feed-in tariff

  • The feed-in tariff was abrogated at the end of 2011 due to introduction of a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in 2012. (The government maintains a feed-in tariff only for existing recipients).
  • To accommodate small renewable energy facilities that could not receive support by RPS, the Seoul Solar Power Plant Support Plan was announced in May 2013. The plan supports operations from the installation of solar power plants to sales for small entities under 50kW capacity in Seoul. According to the plan, the small entities can receive KRW50/kWh (approximately 10 percent of installation cost) for 5 years from 2013.


The R&D tax credit program is applied for renewable energy technologies. Import duties are reduced by 50 percent for all components and/or equipment used in renewable energy power plants.

The Financial Support Program for Renewable Energy in South Korea is comprised of two main categories: the Electricity Fund and the Special Account for Energy and Resource Projects.

The total budget in 2014 is KRW802 billion, KRW249 billion for R&D, KRW103 billion for R&D, KRW336 billion for FIT and KRW114 billion for distribution.

Quota obligation

  • In 2012, the existing feed-in tariff was replaced by an RPS that was approved by the government assembly in March 2010.
  • The RPS requires 13 state-run and private power utilities with a capacity in excess of 500 MW to generate two percent of the energy production from renewable sources by 2015. This percentage will be increased in stages to 10 percent by 2022.
  • In terms of the standard price per certificate, REC for solar power was KRW175,503 averagely in 2013, while REC for non-solar power was determined to be KRW 137,844.
  • The total RPS target for 2014 was confirmed as being 11,578,809 MWh; increasing 26 percent from last year’s target (9,210,381 MWh), while the RPS target for solar power rose 87 percent from 723,000 MWh to 1,353,000 MWh in the same period.

Additional information

One Million Green Homes Project

As a part of the 2009 budget, the government appropriated KRW94.3 billion (USD72 million) for the One Million Green Homes Project. The intent is to build one million homes by 2020 that use one of the following renewable energy technologies: solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, biomass and wind energy. Each year, the government will set a new budget for the coming year.

The green homes being built are environment-friendly and use new and renewable energy resources. In addition, green homes create no carbon emissions and use less energy, water and natural resources.

Other support programs

The government will support 10 major green projects that have impressive promotional and installation effects.


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