Taiwan ramps up green energy development

Expanding Taiwan’s renewable energy production and implementing power saving measures in the public and private sectors are key policy priorities for the ROC government.

Green power initiatives are in place nationwide, aiming to achieve renewable energy installed capacity of 17,250 megawatts by 2030, or 12.6 percent of total energy consumed, according to the Bureau of Energy under the ROC Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Raising green productivity and slashing energy consumption through the development of light-emitting diode, smart grid, solar photovoltaic and wind power industries is also a goal of the government. These sectors are estimated to generate an annual production value of NT$1 trillion (US$29.7 billion) while employing 100,000 people by 2020.

The inauguration of Taiwan’s first floating solar power system Feb. 18 in Pingtung County underscores the effectiveness of this policymaking commitment. Constructed on a retention pond by Taipei City-headquartered LCY Group and locally based Sun Rise E&T Corp., the facility’s 400 solar modules can generate 102 kilowatts of electricity per year from 3.6 hours of sunlight per ay. This number is set to increase to 499 kilowatts once full operations commence in May, providing energy for more than 440 households.

Bowei Lee, chairman and chief executive officer of LCY, said floating solar plants represent the future of renewable energy production as it is becoming harder to find available land. “Such facilities are also 11 percent more efficient than land-based units, and can further reduce water evaporation and eutrophication.

“We are now considering Mudan Dam in Pingtung and Zengweng Reservoir between Tainan City and Chiayi County as our next potential sites once the government completes necessary regulatory changes.”

Another potential-laden green energy source is the offshore wind farms run by Taiwan Power Co. and Fuhai Offshore Windfarm Ltd. in Changhua, and Formosa Wind Power Co. Ltd. in Miaoli County. A maximum of 98 turbines will produce 4,000 megawatts per year by 2030, according to the BOE.

The new administration of ROC President-elect Tsai Ing-wen is likely to continue this policy direction. At the floating solar power system’s inauguration ceremony, she called on the Legislature to prioritize passage of amendments to the Renewable Energy Development and Electricity acts.

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