Republic of Korea

Supporting Policies for Ocean Energy


Within the 2030 Ocean Energy Development Plan, the ministry’s action plan for developing and disseminating ocean energy systems, a strategic plan has been established in the field of tidal and wave energy development. This plan is divided into four steps: (1) the expansion of R&D in ocean energy and the establishment of open-sea test sites; (2) the construction of large-scale ocean energy farms; (3) the entrance into the global market and the expansion of domestic supply; and (4) the establishment of an ocean energy certification system and supporting policies. This plan will be extended for the Carbon Neural in 2050 and the roadmap will be prepared in 2021.


The renewable portfolio standard (RPS) was established in 2012 to compel utility companies with a capacity greater than 500 MW to provide obligatory portions of their total electricity production from renewable energy, based on the Acts on the Development, Utilization, and Supply Promotion of Renewable Energy legislation. The market incentive plan, known as the tradable Renewable Energy Certificate (REC), supplements this RPS policy. The weighting value of REC is currently given as 2.0 for tidal current, 1.0 for tidal barrage with an embankment, and 2.0 for tidal barrage without embankment, while the value of REC for wave and ocean thermal energy has not been assigned. In the REC market, the REC price has gradually reduced from 140 USD/REC in 2016 to 40 USD/REC in 2020 due to the expansion of renewable energy supply as well as the stagnation of demand for REC by energy companies.


MOF provides public funding for ocean energy R&D projects, including demonstration projects, and 20.4 million USD was invested in the development of ocean energy systems in 2020. The main two programs will be continued by 2022, and the remaining budget for ocean energy R&D projects is about 27.3 million USD in 2021 and 2022.


Consenting processes

Update: May 2021


There is no specific legislation for Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) alone, but legal base for offshore energy power production is governed and implemented by different national and domestic authorities.

Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries (MOF) holds Public Waters Management Act & Reclamation Act (Act No. 11690, 2013), which provides a framework and general law governing management of public waters during structure installation or usage. One may install a structure in accordance with either of the Acts, but depending on their governing laws, applicable management and requirements may differ.

Pre-selected areas for ocean energy have not been defined yet, although there are legal considerations to be made in the process of site selection primarily by the Public Water Management & Reclamation Act and Coast Management Act. Construction of demonstrative offshore wind turbine of Jeju Island was carried out based on the Assessment above.

The authorities involved in the consenting process are mainly national authorities:

• Ministry of Environment;
• Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF);
• Director of Regional Maritime Affairs & Port Office;
• City mayor;
• County governor;
• Urban district head.

There may be additional authorities involved depending on the size and purpose of marine space usage, such as the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Korea National Park Service and the director of the regional construction office.

The consenting process involves 3 phases: Consultation; Assessment; Permission.

The first phase is Consultation on Utilization of Sea areas under the Marine Environment Management Act. In this phase, the developers shall consult with authorities on the propriety of utilization of sea areas and its impact on the marine environment.

The second phase includes the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Maritime Safety Audit Scheme. The EIA is to promote environment-friendly, sustainable development by forecasting and assessing the environmental impacts of a plan or project. In addition, the Maritime Safety Audit Scheme assesses the maritime safety and traffic of vessels by establishing a safety control system for safe navigation of vessels and by removing all hazards and obstructions to the navigation of vessels.

The third phase is to get the permission to construct marine energy facilities and to produce the electricity from ocean: Occupancy or Use Permits of Public Waters, Permission of Occupation of Use of Park Protection Zone (in the case of a nature conservation area), Permission of Electric Utility Business, etc.

Occupancy or Use Permits of Public Waters is to preserve and manage public waters for their sustainable use and by allowing an efficient use of reclaimed land through environment-friendly reclamation of public waters. Permission of Occupation or Use of Park Protection Zone is to preserve the natural ecosystem, nature and cultural scenery, etc. and to promote the sustainable utilization thereof by prescribing matters concerning the designation, conservation and management of natural parks.

Permission of electric utility business is to seek the sound development of electrical construction business and secure the safe and appropriate execution of electrical construction by prescribing basic matters concerning electrical construction business and the execution, technical management of and contracting for electrical construction. Corresponding authorities are involved in the consenting process depending on the sea area and location. All these processes also require the agreement of residents including the union of fishermen.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required before and after construction.

According to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act, the targeted projects for EIA are electric power plan with 10,000kW of capacity, 100,000kW solar/wind power plant capacity, submarine mining site of 300,000m2, public water reclamation over 300,000m2 (over 30,000m2 in protected areas), etc. and projects of smaller scale are targeted to Prior Examination of Environmental Nature.

An EIA may be performed either by the developer or by the registered assessment agent and shall report within 30 days after each assessment. The entity responsible for decision making on requirement of an EIA is the Ministry of Environment.

As for the post-construction monitoring system, the agent for assessment shall report the record of performance to the agency for the assessment of environmental impacts of the preceding year to the Minister of Environment. This may continue for a minimum of 5 years after construction depending on the results.

The results of the EIA are disclosed to the public via an EIA database system (

Legislation and regulations related with the consenting process for ocean energy issued are:

• Regulation for ocean usage
- Public Waters Management Act;
- Public Waters Reclamation Act;

• Regulation for energy development
- Act on the Promotion of the Development, Use and Diffusion of New and Renewable Energy;
- Electric Source Development Promotion Act;
- Electric Utility Act;
- Framework Act on Low Carbon, Green Growth;
- Integrated Energy Supply Act;
- Submarine Mineral Resources Development Act.

• Regulation for marine ecosystem protection
- Fishery Resources Management Act;
- Environmental Impact Assessment Act;
- Conservation and Management of Marine Ecosystems Act,
- Marine Environment Management Act.

Consultation is required from a number of stakeholders in advance.

The mandatory consultees are the Ministry of Environment, the Management Agency of Public waters (including the MOF, Regional Maritime Affairs & Port Office, city mayor, county governor and urban district head), and the head of other related administrative agency depending on each consenting stage. These are as prescribed by Presidential Decree.

The most critical consultation that the developer should consider is the residents’ agreement. As for the public sector, in the process of obtaining the Use Permit of Public Waters, as prescribed by the Presidential Decree, the developer should disclose the information to local residents during more than 20 days, and hold an explanatory meeting or a public hearing if more than 30 people require it. The signed agreement from the inhabitants in the area must be included in the documents for the Use Permit of Public Waters, thus the entire process may be deterred at this stage if the developer fails in reaching an agreement.

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