United Nations Public Service Award Winners


Initiative: Songpa Solar Nanum Power Plant


Institution: Songpa-gu Office


Problem: Energy prices dramatically increased in South Korea in the 2000s, due to hike in oil price and government policies to reduce harmful greenhouse gases. The change in policies affected all levels of society and especially low-income groups, whose households spent significant amount of their income on energy. Most of the policy changes were a result of temporary or ad hoc projects, which raised concern that not all beneficiaries were receiving the benefits.


Solution: The Songpa Solar Nanum Power Plant project was created as an innovative administration model to integrate welfare and environmental policies to create a long-term and sustainable solution to the energy issue. Songpa district donates 100 per cent of profits from the sales of electricity to people that lack access to energy, as well as to underdeveloped countries, including Mongolia. The plant reduces greenhouse gas emissions by utilizing solar power. Furthermore, the profits are dedicated to welfare work. The Songpa Solar Nanum Power Plant is driven by a community model where society ensures that at least the minimal needs of every individual are met. It strives to provide energy for cooking and heating/cooling to all people.


Impact: One of the advantages of the project is that it has been able to provide tangible support for people that lack access to energy. Songpa district has generated 350 million won (approximately $313,000 USD) in total over 5 years’ operation and donated it to households that lack access to energy. This year, Songpa district is supplying LED lights to 3,000 households in addition to existing projects. Songpa district establishes infrastructure for energy welfare and supports administration and finance. Private companies, communities and residents assist in raising awareness through campaigns. The project is anticipated to last for next 25 years and it is a good example of long-term cooperation between the local government and communities.



Category 1:

Improving the Delivery of Public Services


Related SDGs: 







Republic of Korea



Asia and the Pacific Group


More information: 

Songpa Solar Nanum Power Plant







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