Since 2004, Gwangju has taken the reigns to become a leader in renewable energy
Next March, the Solar, Wind &
Energy Trade Fair 2018 is
scheduled to be hosted in
Gwangju, Korea’s sixth-largest
city. And it's no surprise that the country’s
biggest business fair for renewable energy
will take place there, as the region boasts
the highest level of insulation in the country,
making it an ideal test-bed for solar
energy companies. Gwangju now aims to
be the center of solar power and green
vehicles in Korea, even trademarking the
phrase 'Solar City Gwangju'.
Since tapped by the government in 2004 as one of the pioneering leaders of green energy, Gwangju has taken the reins to become a proactive leader in the field. It became host to the Gwangju Innopolis, a group of major government-funded research institutes focused on the development of new energy and industries related to sustainable living, and the Bitgaram Energy Valley, an ambitious project to create "smart cities" run on clean energy.
For investors looking to be involved with the development of renewable energy, here are some promising areas in the city of Gwangju.
Pyeongdong was designated as an
industrial complex in 1993 and completed
construction in 2010. Divided into two
complexes—the General Industrial
Complex and the Weoljeon Foreign
Investment Zone. Located within a 50-
minute drive to Muan International
Airport and two-hours to four different
ports (Gwangyang, Mokpo, Yeosu and
Gunsan Ports), Pyeongdong is logistically
While the General Industrial Complex is for tenants in traditional industries like food, fiber and textile,
chemicals, metal, electronics and shipping, the Weoljeon Foreign Investment Zone was designated as a, special area for foreign investors. Preferably for investors in the home appliance industry, design biomedical and green vehicles, Weoljeon is expected to produce KRW 1.8 billion (USD 1.58 million) in exports.
As of March 2017, a third industrial complex, covering 1,178,000 ㎡ is being built to focus on environmentally-friendly vehicles and clean energy. The KRW 225.3 billion (USD 197.59 million) project will house electronic, metal and automobile manufacturing companies. The project will also further encourage cohesiveness for the industrial complexes involved in KEPCO's Bitgaram Energy Valley Project. More than 140 companies are expected to move in to the complex and create 11,503 jobs and an economic incentive of KRW 2.9 trillion (USD 2.54 billion).
The success of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)'s massive Bitgaram Energy Valley project is hinged on collaboration with specialized complexes and research institutes. One of these major industrial complexes is the Jingok Industrial Complex, which was designated in 2007 and completed
March 2016. Bitgreen Industrial Complex and the Pyeongdong Industrial Complex also allows easy access to human resources and collaboration among businesses. Jingok Industrial Complex was constructed as the manufacturing engine of the Bitgaram Energy Valley project, and tenants are well underway in building factories in the area. The industrial complex currently houses tenants related to electronic parts, machinery and cars and encourages companies in rubber, metal, medical, electronics and automobile parts industry. Major logistics companies like Nexen L&C and Sunjin SCM have also invested in the Jingok Industrial Complex.
In addition, the Gwangju Solar Energy Service was established in Jingok to help the city install some 11,707kW of photovoltaic systems, 56,517 ㎡ of solar panels, 9,440kW of geothermal heat generators, 4,240kW of bioenergy and 282kW of fuel cells to become Korea's first truly ecofriendly city. Meanwhile, in 2011, the Gwangju Green Car Promotional Center was also established to cultivate environmentally- friendly vehicles in the region. The center promotes the advancement of technology and industries related to automobiles and plans new projects to further promote the automobile industry.