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Wind power, on rise, must offset high cost

Wind driven power plants are growing in number in South Korea. The nation’s largest wind power plant has just begun operations, and South Korean scientists are starting produce mid- and large-sized wind-generating power facilities using homegrown technology. But there has been an obstacle in the spread of wind power: the price, which stands at twice that of thermal, or fuel-burning, power generation.

Wind-Largest wind-driven power plant opened in Gangwon

Gangwon Wind Plant

The Gangwon Wind Farm

Wind driven power plants are growing in number in South Korea. The nation’s largest wind power plant has just begun operations, and South Korean scientists are starting produce mid- and large-sized wind-generating power facilities using homegrown technology.

But there has been an obstacle in the spread of wind power: the price, which stands at twice that of thermal, or fuel-burning, power generation.

On October 26, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy completed construction of the Gangwon Wind Farm, the nation’s biggest wind farm on a mountain peak in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province. The plant took two years to build, with a price tag was 158.8 billion won (US$165 million). It has a production capacity of 98 megawatts.

This capacity is nearly equivalent to the nation’s second-largest hydroelectric power plant, located in Hwacheon, Gangwon Province, with a capacity of 108 megawatts.


Another large wind farm began operations in Yeongdeok, North Gyeongsang Province in April last year, but its capacity is only 39.6 megawatts; other wind power plants nationwide have smaller power-generation... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Wind-Largest wind-driven power plant opened in Gangwon

Gangwon Wind Plant

The Gangwon Wind Farm

Wind driven power plants are growing in number in South Korea. The nation’s largest wind power plant has just begun operations, and South Korean scientists are starting produce mid- and large-sized wind-generating power facilities using homegrown technology.

But there has been an obstacle in the spread of wind power: the price, which stands at twice that of thermal, or fuel-burning, power generation.

On October 26, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy completed construction of the Gangwon Wind Farm, the nation’s biggest wind farm on a mountain peak in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province. The plant took two years to build, with a price tag was 158.8 billion won (US$165 million). It has a production capacity of 98 megawatts.

This capacity is nearly equivalent to the nation’s second-largest hydroelectric power plant, located in Hwacheon, Gangwon Province, with a capacity of 108 megawatts.


Another large wind farm began operations in Yeongdeok, North Gyeongsang Province in April last year, but its capacity is only 39.6 megawatts; other wind power plants nationwide have smaller power-generation capacity.

With the Gangwon Wind Farm beginning its operations, the total power-generation capacity of wind power plants in South Korea jumped to 172 megawatts.

The wind farm can supply power for 50,000 households, about half of all homes in the nation’s eastern coastal of Gangneung, Gangwon Province, allowing them to reduce some 150,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, according to the ministry’s estimate.

Some South Korean companies are close to producing their own wind power facilities using their own technology, with generation capacities ranging from 2 to 200 megawatts. A ministry official said, "Hyosung and Unison have developed wind power facilities beginning in 2004 with a power generation capacity of 750 kilowatts, and they will be in trial operations by the end of this year." The official added the ministry plans to build a new wind power plant during the second half of next year. Another South Korean company, Kointech, is putting its efforts toward developing a wind power facility with a capacity of 1 megawatt. Hyosung and Unison now plan to develop a facility with a capacity of 2 megawatts by August next year.

Still, wind power faces the problem of sticker shock. Currently, state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. buys one kilowatt -hour of electricity for less than 50 won from its power-generating subsidiaries, but the price is set at 107.29 won per kilowatt-hour for wind-generated power. But even with the higher cost, the wind power industry has complained the price is still too low for them to see profit.

But the ministry said the electricity purchase price from wind power plants may drop if facilities are made with homegrown technology and have more capacity. Facilities at the wind power plants at Yeongdeok and Gangwon were imported from Denmark.

"The price of buying wind-generated electricity will be reduced," the ministry said. Wind power plants are expected to gain competitiveness in the near future, as thermal power plants have been hit by environmental concerns and higher oil prices, the ministry said.


 


Source: http://english.hani.co.kr/a...

OCT 27 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/5487-wind-power-on-rise-must-offset-high-cost
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