Councilor Lee Won-gi of the Seoul Metropolitan Council urged this to the City government in its extraordinary session.
“The community energy service project in the Magok Housing District should be immediately pushed ahead as it is anticipated to generate around 40 billion won of operating profit annually and create new jobs.”
This is what Councilor Lee Won-gi (Democratic Party, Geuncheon 2 Constituency), a member of the Seoul Metropolitan Council’s Public Safety Committee, said in its 248th extraordinary session held on September 13.
After inquiring the reason why the project of constructing community energy facilities in the Magok Housing District is making slow progress in the extraordinary session, Councilor Lee Won-gi strongly urged Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon to push ahead the project as soon as possible. The member of the city council argued that the community energy service in the district will provide much benefit to citizens and will contribute to supply of electric power.
In the session, Councilor Lee Won-gi said, “According to the report on results of feasibility study conducted by the Seoul Institute in July 2013, the community energy facility project in the Magok Housing District is Seoul-type eco-friendly energy program that has excellent financial and economic feasibility, and it is expected to generate around 40 billion won of operating profit annually, while contributing to invigorating regional economy and creating new jobs. I don’t understand why the Seoul City government is shelving the project of constructing such facilities in the District despite these advantages.”
Councilor Lee Won-gi continued, “As we see in the case of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, we now should refrain from increasing power supply by constructing additional nuclear power plants. The community energy service in the Magok Housing District is a desirable direction of energy policy to be chosen by the Seoul City authority because it will satisfy public interest by using renewable energy and provide economic efficiency.”
He explained that profits gained through the community energy service in the Magok Housing District can be used for reducing heating charges for residents and supporting energy to poor people while increasing renewable energy in line with policy of the City government.
Then, Councilor Lee Won-gi stated, “While citizens in Yangcheon-gu are enjoying cheap and convenient heating service, those in neighboring Geumcheon-gu are excluded from district heating service. And the imbalance in heating benefit between these two regions will be improved when the community energy facilities are built in the Magok Housing District.”
The projected community energy facility to be built in the Magok Housing District is a cogeneration system that can generate 280MW of power using sewage water heat and fuel cells, representing 28% of power generated by a 1,000MW nuclear reactor. It is an eco-friendly power generation facility designed to raise the ratio of renewable energy to 49%.
Councilor Lee Won-gi pointed out, “Power independence rate of Seoul is only 3%. Rejection of constructing a cogeneration plant in the Magok Housing District is contradictory to the Seoul City government’s policy of reducing dependence on outside power plants, such as the ‘drive of removing a nuclear reactor’, and increasing its power independence rate.”
Councilor Lee Won-gi explained that profits gained from the community energy service in the Magok Housing District can be used for lowering heating charges for residents and supporting energy-poor people. A part of profits will also be used for programs of expanding renewable energy facilities in line with philosophy of the City government.
Meanwhile, Councilor Lee Won-gi raised a question whether the delay in the project of constructing the community energy facility in the Magok Housing District is related with the MOU sealed with Korea District Heating Corporation (KDHC) in December 2012.
He criticized, “If that is true, the City government is suspected to have an intention of handing over benefits of citizens to others and relying its energy autonomy on an organization affiliated with the central government. The debt reduction scheme of the City government is a good policy, but it will be criticized as a short-sighted policy of damaging energy publicity if the community energy facility project in the Magok Housing District is stranded due to the debt reduction scheme, in long-term perspective.”
And Councilor Lee Won-gi urged, “Pursuit of the debt reduction scheme discarding sound and economically feasible investment cannot be a wise policy. The City government needs to closely examine the community energy facility project in the Magok Housing District and push it forward as soon as possible.”