SEOUL, Apr. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — The solar energy project carried out over the past three years has damaged some 4,407 hectares (44.07 million square meters) of forest land, records from the Korea Forest Service showed Thursday.
Approximately 2.32 million trees were felled during the three-year period to set up solar energy development facilities, according to the documents provided to Rep. Yoon Sang-jik of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party for a parliamentary audit.
By year, 529 hectares were deforested in 2016 as 314,528 trees were removed, 1,435 hectares (674,676 trees) in 2017 and 2,443 hectares (1.33 million trees) last year.
South Jeolla Province, located in the country’s southwest, lost the most forest at 1,025 hectares as 464,021 trees were felled.
The government has been pursuing the development of cleaner sources of power as it advances non-nuclear energy and battles the growing frequency of fine dust.