Advancing Best Practices: Low-Carbon Energy

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Korea Environment Corporation (KECO) for building on its first successful Eco-friendly Energy Town pilot project to initiate eight additional Eco-friendly Energy Town projects slated to be completed by mid-2017. The $11 million project established by KECO and SK Group in rural Hongcheon features a bio-gas plant that turns livestock manure and food waste into biogas; a compost facility that transforms manure and sewage sediment into compost and liquid fertilizer; a 343 kW solar array; and a 17 kW microhydro plant.

According to KECO, the Eco-Friendly Energy Town initiative aims to both promote environmentally friendly, low-carbon energy technologies and also to show residents of other rural towns and villages that manure and sewage can be turned into fuel at local facilities without significant impacts such as noxious odors.

The private investor in the Hongcheon project was SK E&S, which contributed just under $1 million. SK E&S is the gas and electric power division of SK Group. According to the Korea Herald, chairman of SK Group Chey Tae-Won said in June 2016 that the Eco-Friendly Energy Town initiative not only solves environmental problems but also improves the profitability of farmers.