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Public firms investing 1.5 tln won in renewable energy

All News 15:47 January 31, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's public companies will invest some 1.5 trillion won (US$1.24 billion) in 2016 and 2017 to fuel the development of the country's renewable energy sector, the government said Sunday.

In a meeting with the heads of the country's leading green energy companies in Seoul, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Joo Hyung-hwan said every effort will be made to significantly increase investment going into the renewable energy areas such as solar and wind power, which can assist research and development and spur demand for eco-friendly products that are critical to market growth.

"All manner of administrative and fiscal support will be provided so as to allow local companies to gain competitiveness in the global renewable energy sector," the policymaker said.

He said the Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) and other power generating public companies will spend the money to breathe new life into the local market. He said the government will also allocate some 800 billion won annually to prop up research and development (R&D) that is critical for sustainable growth.

Joo also said the government will, moreover, get rid of unnecessary obstacles and restrictions that have held back the country's renewable energy sector in the past.

In response, CEOs from energy companies like Hanwha Q Cells, OCI and S-Energy praised Seoul's latest R&D support plans and the investment support measures set up by public companies.

They asked that more be dome to assist local companies in making headway into overseas markets and develop ways to expand the size of the local demand for clear energy.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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