Renewable energy in Taiwan
Renewable energy policy
In November 2003, the government has guaranteed the price of electricity generated from renewable energy. In 2009, the government passed the Renewable Energy Development Act (REDA) aiming to increase the installed renewable energy capacity in Taiwan to 9.95 GW by 2030. Feed-in tariff regulated by REDA applies to solar, onshore wind, offshore wind, biomass and hydro energy.
The first hydro power plant in Taiwan was built in 1905 during the Japanese rule of Taiwan. Because of environmental concern, the construction of large hydro power plants are no longer planned, thus the trend moves to constructing small hydro power plants. In June 1995, Taipower and Water Resources Agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs completed an investigation to determine the potential of hydro power in Taiwan. The research concluded that there is a potential of 11,730 MW theoretical hydro energy capacity, while the feasible capacity is 5,000 MW. Since 2001, contribution of electricity from hydro power has decreased due to the aftermath of Jiji earthquake on 21 September 1999.
At the end of 2005, the total installed capacity of hydropower in Taiwan was 4,539.9 MW, of which 2,602 MW came from pumped-storage hydroelectricity. Taiwan's largest hydro power plant is the Mingtan Pumped Storage Hydro Power Plant opened in 1995. The plant is located in Shuili Township, Nantou County with a capacity of 1,602 MW, acting as the pump-storage hydroelectricity source.
In May 2009, Taiwan opened the National Stadium in Zuoying District, Kaohsiung which also acts as a photovoltaic power station. It is equipped with 141 solar panels with an installed capacity of 1 MW. In 2013, the capacity factor of solar power in Taiwan was 14%.
Currently Taipower is undergoing the first phase of photovoltaic project which will be completed by December 2014 with a total installed capacity of 19.6 MW and a production of 24.957 GWh per year. This project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emission by 10,500 tonnes per year.
The government has a long-term plan to make the solar capacity become 4,500 MW by 2020 and to make 7.5 million Taiwan residents to utilize solar energy by 2030. To give further incentives, the government has designated solar energy and LED industries as two industries to actively develop in the near future.
Taiwan has abundant of wind power resources. In 2013, Taiwan's onshore wind farm capacity factor is 28-29%, while its offshore wind farm is 33-38%, with the total installed onshore wind capacity of 530 MW. There are currently 55 integrated and automated wind power forecasting systems established in Zhongtun, Kinmen, Mailiao, Changgong and Shihu.
The first phase of wind power installation was done in January 2003 until December 2008 in which 59 wind turbines were put into commercial operations in Shinmen, Tatan Unit 1, Guanyuan, Shianshan, Port of Taichung, Taichung Power Plant and Hengchun with a total installed capacity of 96.96 MW. The second phase was done in January 2005 until September 2011 in which 58 turbines were put into operation in Changgong Unit 1, Yunlin Mailiao, Sihu, Linko and Tatan Wind Power Stations. The third phase was done in January 2007 until July 2011 in which 28 turbines were put into operation in Changgong Unit 2, Yunlin Mailiao Unit 2, Changhua Wanggong and Tatan II Wind Power Stations with a total capacity of 59.6 MW.
The fourth phase of wind power installation is currently under construction with the expected completion schedule by June 2015 in which once completed, it will bring the total capacity of wind power to be 14.8 MW, generating 43.081 GWh per year. The Penghu Island Low-Carbon Island Wind Power Project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2016 with a total capacity of 33 MW, generating 116.251 GWh per year.
In 2007, the National Penghu University of Science and Technology in Penghu County started a project commissioned and funded by National Science Council to establish a 5,000 m2 wind park at the campus area for educational and research purposes. It now hosts 47 small, experimental turbines installed by 20 international companies. All of the turbines have their own monitoring system which record the condition and efficacy. Data is then transmitted by Internet for analysis and improvements. The government plan to construct a total of 450 onshore wind turbines and 600 offshore wind turbines by 2030, aiming at a capacity of 4,200 MW, in which 1,200 MW will be for onshore and 3,000 MW will be for offshore.
Taiwan is estimated to have 33,640 MW of geothermal energy. However, the energy is largely untapped for producing electricity. The highest potential of geothermal energy are in Hualien County, Taitung County, Nantou County, Yilan County and Tatun Volcano Group in Taipei.
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