Taiwan aims to boost wind power capacity to 980 MW by 2010

The capacity will continue to rise over the next 15 years, to reach 1.48 million kilowatts by 2015 and 3 million kilowatts by 2025, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said.

In 2008, installed wind power capacity in Taiwan reached 358,000 kilowatts, making the country the world’s 23rd largest producer of wind power, according to the CEPD.

The council noted that wind power is one of the most important types of renewable energy and that its development is encouraged by many countries around the world.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that the world’s total power generation capacity will jump from 18.9 trillion kilowatt-hour (kwh) in 2006 to 25 trillion kwh by 2015, with the annual growth rate registering 3.1 percent.

The total renewable energy generation capacity, meanwhile, is likely to increase at an annual rate of 4.1 percent, rising from 3.47 trillion kwh in 2006 to 4.97 trillion kwh in 2015, according to the IEA.

Taiwan Small Wind-Power Producers Eye 117 GW World Market By 2020

Taiwan’s small and midsized wind power producers need government subsidies and certification in order to vie for a projected global demand for 117 Gigawatt of power by 2020, industry representatives and scholars said Thursday.

"We hope the government can help us in product certification, which will boost exports," said Chen Wu Yao-Jung, who was elected Thursday as chairman of the newly established Taiwan association of small and midsized wind power producers.

The association’s establishment comes as demand for renewable energy, including wind power, picks up globally amid an effort to diversify from traditional sources of energy, and as Taiwan’s legislature passed last week a bill to promote renewable energy.

Small and midsized wind turbines are defined as producing between 300 watt to 5 kilowatt of electricity, which are suitable for homes, tourist resorts, and remote areas that have no access to the power grid like islands.

Government subsidies are needed for wind power to reach grid parity, but small wind turbines are already cost-competitive in areas like Taiwan’s offshore islands, said Tso Chunto, a research fellow at Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, a private think tank that helped set up the association.

"In offshore islands, they use diesel which is costly, but you can use wind power," said Tso. TIER and the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research estimated Taiwan needs 30 Megawatt of installed capacity on its offshore islands, and a total of 100 MW islandwide.

Global demand, however, for small and midsized wind turbines will reach 117 Gigawatt by 2020, generating NT$61.5 billion for Taiwan makers if they capture 1% of the market. "That’s why you need to look overseas," said Chang Chin-jen, a researcher at the Environmental and Energy Technology Center, the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research.

Taiwan green energy industry set to boom after new law enacted

Taiwan’s green energy industy is poised to boom after a statute aimed at promoting renewable energy development cleared the legislative floor last week, a Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) official said Saturday.

Yeh Hui-ching, director of the MOEA Bureau of Energy, said passage of the Renewable Energy Development Act has formally ushered into Taiwan the era of alternative energy development and related applications.

"It means that in the future, the development and application of renewable, pollution-free sources of energy that produce low amounts of carbon-dioxide emissions will be given priority in terms of low-carbon energy development in the country, " Yeh said during a ceremony marking the establishment of the Taipei-based Chinese Alternative Energy Association.

The enactment of the statute represents the beginning of a linkage between energy and environmental conservation, he said.

The act provides a legal framework that will encourage investment in renewable energy production and offer incentives to local consumers to install renewable energy equipment.

Under the law, the government will provide incentives such as equipment purchase subsidies and low-interest loans to increase renewable energy generating capacity in Taiwan to between 6.5 million kilowatts and 10 million kilowatts.

Yeh said it is hoped that these and other incentives will boost the development of local solar, wind, biomass and other green sectors.

In line with the spirit of the new statute, he said, the Executive Yuan has also instructed that 10 percent of the funding for public construction projects under the government’s public works stimulus package will be set aside for the development of renewable energy or energy-saving efforts.

"These plans will in turn form the foundation of green business in the country," he added.

In addition to permitting state-run Taiwan Power Co. to buy electricity generated by private renewable energy investors, the statute also allows the government to offer other incentives to speed up the development of renewable energy technologies.

The statute stipulates that the development of solar photovoltalic energy, solar thermal energy, wind power generation, biomass energy and nuclear power generation will be given priority in terms of energy development.

Of these sectors, the solar energy sector will hopefully become the country’s next NT$1 trillion industrial sector and result in Taiwan becoming a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltalic energy equipment in the world, said National Taiwan University President Lee Si-chen, who is the convener of a national energy development project authorized by the National Science Council.

"The government’s target is quite clear now that the installation capacity of renewable energy will account for 15 percent of the entire power installation capacity in the country by 2025, with its power generation capacity projected to increase to 8 percent of the total power supply in Taiwan," Lee said.

Meanwhile, Tsai Chin-yao, chairman of the Solar Photovoltalic Energy Development Committee under the non-profit Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) Taiwan, forecast that the enactment of the statute will spark investment of NT$30 billion in Taiwan’s renewable energy sector within one year.

The investment could create up to 10,000 jobs and generate NT$100 billion in revenues within one to two years, he forecast.

Use of wind energy growing in Taiwan

The use of wind power will play a major role in Taiwan’s efforts to increase its use of renewable energy, according to officials from the Bureau of Energy (BOE) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The BOE has set a target for Taiwan to generate 10% of its energy needs using renewable energy by 2010, with wind power making up 80% of renewable energy.

Taiwan’s west coast is currently home to over 100 wind turbines on 13 farms, which produce over 420 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, or enough power for 105,000 households, said BOE officials at a recent ceremony promoting the use of renewable energy at Changhua Coastal Industrial Park.

The wind turbines currently in use are sufficient to prevent 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, said BOE officials.

The new windmills at Changhua Coastal Industrial Park were built by state-run Taiwan Power (Taipower), local company Tien-Lung Paper and InfraVest Wind Power Group of Germany, which build the first wind farm in Taiwan in 2000.

Additional windmills are being built by state-run Taipower in western coastal areas and the outer islands of Penghu, which will create an additional 500 megawatt capacity, said officials.

With six months of strong northwesterly winds every year, Taiwan’s coastal areas are well-suited for the development of wind power, said the officials.

The state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) recently began operations of 23 wind turbines erected at the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park. The total number of such units across Taiwan now reaches 103, and they generate sufficient electricity to meet the energy needs of 105,000 households. According to the Bureau of Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by wind turbines produce 0.6 kilograms less carbon dioxide than traditional means of generating power.

According to the Bureau of Energy, these new wind turbines in central Taiwan will create 136 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 69,000 metric tons per year. This is very important to Taiwan, since 98 percent of the nation’s energy consumption is dependent on imports.

Following this latest erection of wind turbines, Taipower and four private companies will set up wind power plants in Changhua and other coastal areas in western Taiwan. An additional 264 wind energy generators will joint current operations. They will also be integrated into local landscapes and create surplus value by boosting local tourism.

According to the Bureau of Energy, harnessing wind energy can further benefit the machinery sector. The bureau’s study shows that domestic manufacturers of steel, fiberglass and precision machinery are competitive in the global wind power generator industry, which is worth up to US$12 billion per year. So far, 10 Taiwan-based companies have begun production of parts for wind generators. These include the Formosa Heavy Industries Group and Kaohsiung-based China Steel Machinery Corp.

According to the Bureau of Energy, by 2010, renewable energy — including wind, solar and oceanic energies — is expected to contribute 4,120 megawatts of electricity per year. This represents about 8 percent of Taiwan’s total production and is not far short of the government’s goal of 10 percent.

In addition to constructing wind turbines on land, companies in Taiwan will also be encouraged to construct units off shore. This will be more expensive, but it will avoid using Taiwan’s limited land resources. Currently, Taipower is reviewing the possibility of setting up wind generators on the sea. It will submit applications after relevant regulations are promulgated.

Research alliance in Taiwan to develop large wind turbines

The Metal Industries Research & Development Centre (MIRDC) , a nonprofit organization based in Kaohsiung, said that it has invited three of Taiwan’s top engineering companies to form an alliance to develop large wind turbines.

MIRDC Chairman Huang Chi-chuan disclosed that the alliance will include Tatung Co., Shihlin Electric & Engineering Corp. and Far East Machinery Co.

"We will develop related facilities to produce Taiwan’s first locally made large wind turbine with a capacity of 2,500 kilowatts within four years," he said.

According to Huang, the wind turbines produced under this research program will not only help Taiwan harness its abundant wind power resources, but can also be sold to other countries hoping to make use of renewable energy sources.

Chang Mao-sheng, an engineer at the MIRDC, said the center’s ambitious project — unprecedented in Taiwan — intends to develop wind turbines with rotor diameters measuring 86 meters and each aerodynamically designed blade weighing about six metric tons.

Chang said the MIRDC will have no problems with the development, manufacturing and installation of the wind turbine, or with its safe operation and maintenance.

The new wind turbines will be designed to lock the blades automatically when wind speeds reach 70 meters per second, or 252 kilometers per hour.

Taiwan’s coastal areas are ideal for the development of wind power because they have strong northwesterly winds for six months each year, with an average wind speed of five to six meters per second, or 18-22 kph.

State-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) is currently implementing a 10-year wind power development plan under which more than 200 wind turbines will be built by 2010, with a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

Most of the wind turbines have an individual capacity of between 500 and 600 kilowatts, with the latest models capable of generating 2,000 kilowatts.

Taipower has also mapped out a second 10-year development plan spanning 2010 to 2020 that would place 546 wind turbines with a total capacity of nearly 2,000 megawatts in shallow waters off Taiwan’s west coast and Penghu, an island chain west of Taiwan renowned for its strong winds all year round.

The electricity generated by 176 units in Penghu will be transmitted to Taiwan through a 40-km undersea cable. The other 370 units will be established 10 to 15 km off the coast of Changhua and Yunlin counties, according to Taipower.

AMSC licenses wind turbine technology to Taiwan’s TECO

The American Superconductor Corp (AMSC) has licensed wind turbine technology to Taiwan’s
TECO Electric & Machinery Co to jointly explore the wind power markets in the US, Taiwan and China, a newspaper said on Saturday.

AMSC and TECO signed the deal in Taipei Friday, the Taipei Times said.

Under the deal TECO, a home appliance and telecommunications equipment maker, will obtain the technology from AMSC to manufacture FC2000 wind turbine systems capable of generating 2 million watts of electricity.

TECO will start making the generators in the US, Taiwan and China next year and sell the products in those markets.

Several foreign firms have already installed wind turbines in Taiwan, but TECO is the first Taiwan company to obtain the technology to produce wind turbine systems and key components.

TECO Chairman Liu Chao-kai was quoted by the Taipei Times as saying the wind energy market was full of potential and TECO hoped to play a role in expanding the sector’s horizons over the next 20 years.

AMSC is a leading global designer and maker of wind energy equipment and components.

TECO estimated that the technological partnership with AMSC would enable TECO to win a market share worth more than 300 billion Taiwan dollars (9.89 billion US dollars) in Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia.

Liu said Taiwan aims to install 1,000 wind turbines by 2015 – a goal that translates into a business potential of 120 billion Taiwan dollars (3.7 billion US dollars) if each 2 million-watt generator is priced at 120 million Taiwan dollars (3.7 million US dollars).

The outlook is positive in China, too, Liu said. Last year China installed wind turbine systems with a total output of 6 billion watts, which it plans to upgrade to 100 billion watts by 2020.

‘That means China will need to install 47,000 wind turbine generators in the next 13 years – a huge business potential,’ he said.

Taiwan Wind Turbine Industry Association to Tap China Market

To tap the global wind-turbine equipment business, whose global output is expected to reach US$180 billion by 2015, the member firms of the Taiwan Wind Turbine Industry Association (TWTIA) will consolidate resources to tap the China market, concentrating on the management of wind fields and repair and maintenance services in the early stage.

Yeh Huey-ching, director general of the Bureau of Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, noted Taiwan will seek bilateral cooperation with the mainland in the field of windpower industry in August when the windpower industry forum will be held in Taipei.

Ted M.H. Huang, chairman of the Taipei-based Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (CNAIC), noted that China has been strongly pushing for the development of energy-saving devices and alternative energy.

To help domestic firms tap between NT$300 billion (US$8.87 billion at US$1:NT$33.8) and NT$400 billion (US$11.83 billion) per year in China`s windpower generation business, the CNAIC will soon invite 20 firms to discuss the integration of resources and development strategies.

C. K. Liu, chairman of Teco Group, suggested domestic firms have to form an alliance to tap the massive wind-field market in China, where the provinces may to set up wind fields without open tender if each province installs less than 25 wind turbines.

Taiwan has good wind sites along the west coast, and on the offshore island of Penhu. The total potential of wind power is at least 3,000 MW (including off-shore).

After the second energy crisis, Taiwan conducted research on wind power related technology for about 10 years starting in 1980. Wind power resource was investigated, and feasibility study was conducted for some wind power sites.

Since 2001, more detailed study was performed using meteorological data between 1996~2000, and WAsP (Wind Atlas Analysis and Application Programme). Feasibility study has also been completed by collecting and analysing the meteorological, terrain and geological information in the west coast area of Taiwan.

By late 2005, a preliminary development plan for an off-shore wind farm has been determined according to the result of a feasibility study.

Taiwan started to promote the application of wind power aggressively since 2000. MOEA implemented a 5-year wind power demonstration project through the service provided by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

“The Subsidy Measures for Wind Power Demonstration System” was announced in March 2000 (abolished in 2004). It provides a subsidy of up to NT$ 16,000,000 per MW, and the subsidy cannot exceed 50% of installation cost.

Formosa Heavy Industries Corporation has installed 4 units of 660 kW wind turbine in Miliaw in late 2000. Chu Pei Mill of Cheng Loong Corp (CLC) has installed 2 units of 1,750 kW wind turbine in 2002 near Hsinchu city. Taipower had completed 4 units of 600 kW wind turbine in 2001 on the island of Penghu.

Because of good operational results, 4 more units were added in 2005 to get 4.8 MW of total installed capacity. During this demonstration period, a total of 8.54 MW was installed.

Experience gained in these early demonstration systems led to a comprehensive review of the regulatory and administrative procedure occurred at the time, and it took several years to finally resolve the land zoning ordinances. By 2008 many projects have been proposed by several developers, even though the officially commissioned total capacity was 252.1 MW by the end of 2008, many more units have been installed.

Taipower has initiated a “Ten-year Wind Power Development Programme” in 2002 with a goal of installing 200 wind power turbines or 300 MW in total capacity within ten years. Currently the 1st phase and 2nd phase projects of this programme are under implementation and the 3rd and 4th phase project is under planning.

The 1st phase project is mostly completed, a total capacity of 98.96 MW will be installed in a number of sites including the 1st and 3rd nuclear power stations, Tatan Power station and nearby coastal areas of Taoyuan and Hsinchu counties, Taichung power station, and nearby areas of Taichung harbour. By March 2006, only 18 units (36 MW) on Taichung harbour site are still under construction.

The Second Phase project will be implemented from 2006 to 2007. In the project, 63 units with a total capacity of 126 MW, each unit rated 2 MW will be installed in a number of sites located in Changhua Coastal Industrial Park and coastal areas of Yunlin County. Besides, six 850 kW wind turbines with a total capacity of 5.1 MW in Huhsi wind farm, Penghu Island, will be constructed.

Several IPPs of wind power projects have been planned along the west coast of Taiwan. By April 2008, three IPPs have completed construction and successfully commissioned, with an installed capacity of 174 MW.

Taiwan started R&D in the related technology of wind power since 1980. MOEA had entrusted ITRI to develop 4 kW, 40 kW and 150 kW wind turbines in 1984, 1986, and 1989, respectively. But they were not commercialised then. Taipower also introduced foreign technology and installed wind turbines on off-shore islands, i.e. Chimei (in Penghu) and Kinmen. The project was terminated due to the declination of oil prices in the late 80’s.

Wind turbine technology is now very mature in Europe. Taiwan started to pick-up wind power technologies again in 2005. Taiwan has good foundation in precision machinery, electrical engineering and electronics, control, fibreglass material etc. Many companies are now exploring the following:

A. Tower and its internal parts: In Taiwan, several companies have relevant manufacturing experiences. Especially China Steel Machinery Corporation (CSMC) has provided most of tower racks domestically.

B. Gearbox: In 2001, Formosa Heavy Industries Corporation conducted evaluation during the construction of first wind power system domestically.

C. High voltage transformer: In Taiwan, several companies have manufacturing capabilities after cooperating with European and American partners.

D. High voltage switch box: Locally made high voltage switch box (22.8KV) is still too large and too heavy. It is necessary to develop compact type SF6 insulation high voltage switch box.

E. Generator: TECO had received GE Energy certification for 750 kW generator, and is working on 1.5 MW and larger generators.

In December 2005, Chin Fong Machine Industrial Co. joined with 5 companies (CSMC, Li kang Ind., TECO, CoTech and AETCH) and 6 research institutes (ITRI, MIRDC, etc.) to form “Wind Energy Industry R&D Alliance”, in addition, the Taiwan Wind Energy Association” was formed in January 2006. There are new 33 companies and over 40 individuals who have joined the association. This Association will serve as a common platform to support the government and wind power industry in Taiwan.

The target of 3,000 MW (including 1,700 MW of off-shore wind power) for wind power by 2025 has been set by MOEA in 2007. This will create a market size of at least NT$ 10 billions. There will be the development of key wind turbine components, and the development of wind power application systems.