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Clean Power Korean border

Published on May 28th, 2014 | by James Ayre

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South Korea To Install 1 MW Of Solar Panels On North Korean Factory

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May 28th, 2014 by  

Plas are still moving forward for the inter-Korean installation of 1 MW worth of solar panels on a North Korean factory park in the border town of Kaesong, despite rising tensions, according to recent reports.

The 1 MW solar installation will eventually be accompanied by 19 MW of other renewable energy installations — according to current plans, that is. Given the situation, and the endless tit-for-tat between the two, I wouldn’t count that as a sure thing until it’s been completed.

Korean border

The plan makes a fair amount of sense when taken out of political contexts — technology and capital from the rich partner, and cheap labor and resources from the poor one. Not much different than many other energy deals around the world.

That’s of course without taking into account: the tension between the two; the “unresolved civil war;” the nuclear weapons; and the young, hard-to-predict ruler of one of the countries. That does make the story a bit different.

First reported by news agency Yonhap, the deal represents perhaps the “last remaining symbol of inter-Korean economic co-operation,” making the question of what exactly will happen perhaps even more interesting.

According to an unnamed official from South Korea’s Unification Ministry, as quoted by Yonhap, the project is part of “a green detente intended to defuse tensions through cooperation on environmentally focused projects.”


On the subject of renewables projects/goals with interesting political dimensions, Iran significantly raised its renewable energy goals in recent weeks, and is now aiming to add 5,000 MW of new solar and wind energy capacity by the year 2018. Pretty big goal, but also quite achievable — and, very likely, one that will help the country save some money.

As elsewhere in the region, one of the primary reasons for the switch to renewables is no doubt to limit the domestic consumption (to some degree anyways) of the substantial fossil fuel reserves possessed. The less used internally, the more that can be sold elsewhere — and as prices on said fuels (again) begins to rise — with falling production — that should become a more and more lucrative proposition for said countries.

Image Credit: Korean Border via Wiki CC

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • JamesWimberley

    The plan makes very little sense outside the very peculiar politics of relations between the two Koreas. The plant will create very few North Korean jobs in installation (North Koreans know nothing about the technology) and none while running,

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