New Energy as Defined from a Policy Perspective

The expression, New Energy, was first defined as a policy term in the Act on Special Measures for the Promotion of New Energy Use (“New Energy Act”) that came into effect in 1997. The law defines New Energy as those energies that “are approaching the stage of practical applications but not yet widespread due to constraints from the standpoint of economic efficiency, and are particularly necessary for furthering the introduction of Petroleum Alternative Energy.”

Specific types of energies included in the New Energy are described in the Enforcement Order for the New Energy Act as the “New Energy Use.” The Enforcement Order has been amended twice, and the following table shows the ten types of energies that are recognized as New Energy Use at present.

New Energy Use as defined in the Enforcement Order for the Act on Special Measures for the
Promotion of New Energy Use.
New Energy Use 2008 2002 1997 Remarks
Solar thermal  
Wind power  
Thermal energy conversion Non-utilized energy (temperature difference, waste heat)
Snow/ice cryogenic energy    
Biomass power    
Biomass heat    
Biomass fuel    
Micro hydroelectric     1,000 ㎾ or less
Geothermal power     Binary approach
Fuel cell    
CNG cogeneration    
Clean energy vehicle   Electric/CNG/methanol vehicles
    Fuel cell / hybrid vehicles

The current list of New Energy is based on the Interim Report by the New Energy Subcommittee for the Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in November 2006. The report concludes with a recommendation to focus the future allocation of policy resources on “the advancement of the introduction of renewable energy” and “the promotion of development and utilization of innovative energy technologies.”