Taiwan Rapidly Moving From Coal To Renewable Energy

National Economy

The population of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is approximately 23.87 million people[1]. In 2019, 100 % of the people in this island nation in Southeast Asia had access to electricity[2].

In 2019, Taiwan’s economy was ranked 21st in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[4] of integrated circuits, office machines, computers, refined petroleum, liquid crystal displays and telephones.

Environment Policies

In 2009, Taiwan’s government enacted the Renewable Energy Development Act, which was designed to increase the development of renewable energy projects in the country.

In 2011, the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan created strong opposition to the use of nuclear power in Taiwan. Taiwan’s government has announced it will not build any new nuclear power plants, nor extend the 40-year operating license for the country’s five nuclear power plants.

In 2016, Taiwan signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to reduce 2005 greenhouse gas emission levels by 20% by 2030 and 50% by 2050.

In 2020, state utilities used coal (44.2 %),  liquified natural gas (36.6 %), nuclear energy (11.4 %), renewable energy (5.7 %), and oil (3.0% ) to generate the country’s electricity[6]. Solar, biomass, hydropower, and wind were the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Taiwan.

Recent renewable energy projects in Taiwan include:

  • 900 MW Offshore Wind Project – Danish power company, Ørsted is continuing work on the Greater Changhua 1 and 2a offshore wind project at a site approximately 25 miles off the west coast of Taiwan. The project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2022.
  • 920 MW Offshore Wind Project – In July 2020, Ørsted announced plans to build the Changhua 2b and 4 wind project farm at a site approximately 30 miles off the west coast of Taiwan. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023.
  • 640 MW Offshore Wind Project – German renewable energy company, WPD AG is continuing work on the Yunlin offshore wind project at a site approximately 5 miles off the west coast of Taiwan. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2021.
  • 15 MW Energy Storage Project – In May 2021, Taiwanese solar company, URE Corp has announced plans to develop the nation’s largest energy storage project at a site in the southern region of the island.
  • 7 MW Floating Solar Project – In September 2021, state-owned utility Taiwan Power Corp commissioned a floating solar project at the Wushantou hydroelectric power dam in the southwest region of the island.

Conclusions

Virtually all of Taiwan’s fossil fuels (coal, liquified natural gas, and petroleum) are imported, which creates an economic burden on the country’s economy. Taiwan’s government energy plans include installing 20,000 MW of solar by 2025.

Climate change and economics are driving Taiwan’s rapid move from coal to renewable energy.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

[1] Taiwan Population (2021) –  September 5, 2021, www.worldometers.info

[2] Our World In Data, Taiwan:  Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] OEC – Socialist Republic of Taiwan

[5] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Taiwan:  Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

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