Enhancing South Korea's Green Premium Program: A collaborative push for transparency and additionality

On February 21st, the Asia Clean Energy Coalition and Climate Group, with support from local partners KOSIF and SFOC, hosted a Technical Consultation Session in South Korea focused on the Green Premium Program. This event convened stakeholders from the Korea Energy Agency, the private sector, and NGOs to discuss the future direction of South Korea's Green Premium Program. This initiative allows consumers to pay a premium for renewable energy and receive a certificate acknowledging their renewable energy consumption. Despite its widespread use, there have been concerns about the program related to its additionality, transparency, and how the generated funds are utilized.


The consultation aimed at addressing these concerns by proposing enhancements to the program's transparency and additionality. Participants emphasized the importance of ensuring that the Green Premium funds directly contribute to new renewable energy capacity. There was a consensus on the need for a more transparent system, suggesting that a comprehensive disclosure of how funds are used could increase the program's effectiveness and trustworthiness. Among the key recommendations were the establishment of an online database or annual reporting mechanism for fund allocation and the exploration of ways to involve private sector investment in new RE projects through Green Premium proceeds.


The idea of enabling bidding on future projects to guarantee additionality was also discussed. The suggestion aimed at fostering a transparent, accountable, and efficient framework for the Green Premium scheme. Moreover, the need for more detailed project-level information in Green Premium auctions was highlighted, allowing for more informed decisions and aligning the program more closely with corporate renewable energy objectives.


The Korea Energy Agency responded to the private sector’s concerns by outlining recent improvements to the program, notably in the auction process. These improvements focus on establishing a more robust system for verifying renewable energy sources, ensuring transparency, and facilitating traceability. This revamped process is designed to meet international standards, such as those set by the CDP for renewable energy claims, thereby addressing stakeholder demands for more detailed and transparent information.


Furthermore, the role of the deliberation committee in determining the use of financial proceeds from the Green Premium was discussed, with a call for a more structured approach to incorporate stakeholder feedback and enhance program effectiveness.


The consultation highlighted the collective effort required from government bodies, the private sector, and NGOs to improve the Green Premium program, underlining its potential to significantly contribute to expanding South Korea's renewable energy capacity through enhanced transparency, accountability, and stakeholder involvement.