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Is renewable energy acceptable with power grid expansion? A quantitative study of South Korea's renewable energy acceptance

Hyunggeun Kim, Sangkyu Park and Jongsu Lee

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2021, vol. 139, issue C

Abstract: Successful implementation of energy transition requires public acceptance and consensus. While the expansion of renewable energy is largely perceived to be a positive development, power grid expansion often meets public opposition. Since large-scale renewable energy requires power grid expansion, this study attempts to reveal South Korea's public acceptance of renewable energy, focusing on the power grid expansion due to renewables, which was overlooked by previous studies. This study used a conjoint survey and mixed logit of the willingness-to-pay (WTP) space to quantify both the public WTP for the targeted share of renewable energy (20% by 2030) and the public willingness-to-accept (WTA) for additional overhead power transmission lines (PTLs). The public net benefit of energy transition was then simulated, including the estimated public WTP/WTA and the projected household electricity rate increase based on the national energy plan. The results show that the net benefit of energy transition is only 40% of the WTP for energy transition, as additional overhead PTLs for renewable generation facilities reduce 60% of the WTP. If the projected electricity rate increase is also accounted for, the public net benefit will turn negative in 2024, before the targeted energy transition is achieved. Furthermore, although the public prefers underground PTLs, the WTP for this was estimated to be as low as 3–4% of the total planned PTLs. Therefore, it is necessary to optimize the integration of renewable energy by considering alternative cost-effective measures in terms of minimizing overhead PTLs to successfully increase renewable energy sources.

Keywords: Energy transition; Renewable energy; Power transmission line; Public acceptance; Mixed logit model; Willingness-to-pay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2020.110584

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