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Evaluation of potential fossil fuel conservation by the renewable heat obligation in Korea


  • Song, Jeonghun
  • Song, Seung Jin
  • Oh, Si-Deok
  • Yoo, Yungpil


The developers of new buildings in South Korea are going to have a renewable heat obligation to meet some proportion of heating & cooling demand with renewable heat sources such as ground-source heat pumps, biomass wood pellet boilers and solar water heating panels from 2016. This study evaluated the potential fossil fuel conservation by implementation of the renewable heat obligation in Korea, based energy demand patterns of the target buildings and cost and performance of the renewable heat sources. Results show that most of the developers of new buildings will adopt a ground-source heat pump because of long lifespan and low variable cost under the current electricity tariff. Ground-source heat pumps consume electric power generated from fossil fuel as the major source for operation while solar and biomass do not. This implies that under the current plan the percentage of potential decrease of fossil fuel use will be much lower than the percentage of heating & cooling demand met by renewable heat sources. Reclassifying ground-source heat pumps as highly energy efficient conventional heat sources rather than renewable heat sources, as the International Energy Agency does, would correct this undesired outcome and is suggested as a policy correction.

Suggested Citation

  • Song, Jeonghun & Song, Seung Jin & Oh, Si-Deok & Yoo, Yungpil, 2015. "Evaluation of potential fossil fuel conservation by the renewable heat obligation in Korea," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 140-149.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:renene:v:79:y:2015:i:c:p:140-149
    DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2014.10.014

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Song, Jeonghun & Song, Seung Jin, 2020. "A framework for analyzing city-wide impact of building-integrated renewable energy," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 276(C).
    2. Soni, Suresh Kumar & Pandey, Mukesh & Bartaria, Vishvendra Nath, 2016. "Hybrid ground coupled heat exchanger systems for space heating/cooling applications: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 724-738.
    3. Nunes, L.J.R. & Matias, J.C.O. & Catalão, J.P.S., 2016. "Wood pellets as a sustainable energy alternative in Portugal," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 1011-1016.
    4. Kim, Young Sang & Kim, Dong Kyu & Ahn, Kook Young & Kim, Min Soo, 2020. "Real-time analysis of dry start-up characteristics of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell with water storage process under pressurized condition," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 199(C).

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