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Energy minister ditches plan to install solar panels at home amid neighbors’ opposition

South Korea’s Energy minister Paik Un-gyu has ditched a plan to install a household solar power system at his home apartment, in the face of opposition from neighbors in the same building. 

Energy minister Paik Un-gyu (Yonhap)
Energy minister Paik Un-gyu (Yonhap)
Paik, a resident of the affluent Gangnam district in southeastern Seoul, attempted to have the power-generating device attached to the apartment building several weeks ago, according to the ministry. The 54-year-old minister of trade, industry and energy asked a local administrative office representing the apartment’s residents for approval. But the office declined Paik’s request, citing opposition from residents who reportedly feared a drop in housing prices.

Korean law stipulates that an apartment resident should seek the agreement of residents of the apartment building to attach devices outside.

The news has shed light on room for revisions in Korean law to become more conducive to new and renewable energy by giving each household the autonomy to build solar power-generating systems, in a nation where multiunit residential buildings are more common in cities than stand-alone houses.

The Energy Ministry in December last year rolled out plans to generate 20 percent of the nation’s electricity through new and renewable energy sources by 2030. The government aims to produce over 30 gigawatts of electricity through solar panels per year by 2030, from roughly 7 gigawatts as of 2017.