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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1773; doi:10.3390/su9101773

The Environmental Costs of Photovoltaic Power Plants in South Korea: A Choice Experiment Study

1
Graduate Program in Technology Policy, College of Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-Ro, Seodaemun-Gu, Seoul 03722, Korea
2
Department of Energy Policy, Graduate School of Energy & Environment, Seoul National University of Science & Technology, 232 Gongreung-Ro, Nowon-Gu, Seoul 01811, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 23 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
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Abstract

The photovoltaic (PV) power supplies renewable and sustainable electricity without greenhouse gases and air pollutants emissions. However, the potential environmental impacts caused by PV power plants can negatively affect both the ecosystem and human life. Thus, the environmental costs arising from the PV power plants should be measured and the efforts to reduce them should be made. To this end, this article seeks to assess the environmental costs of PV power plants using a choice experiment (CE). Four attributes chosen for this purpose are habitat loss, landscape destruction, hazardous materials, and light pollution. The trade-offs between each attribute and price were successfully assessed in the CE survey of 1000 South Korean respondents. The environmental costs of a one percentage point increase in habitat loss, landscape destruction, hazardous materials, and light pollution caused by PV power plants are estimated to be KRW 135 (USD 0.12), 53 (0.05), 122 (0.11), and 158 (0.14), respectively, per household per month. The findings can provide policymakers with useful information for both evaluating and planning the PV power plant-related policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental costs; photovoltaic power; choice experiment; willingness to pay; multinomial logit model environmental costs; photovoltaic power; choice experiment; willingness to pay; multinomial logit model
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yang, H.-J.; Lim, S.-Y.; Yoo, S.-H. The Environmental Costs of Photovoltaic Power Plants in South Korea: A Choice Experiment Study. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1773.

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