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Massive investment needed to hit renewable energy goal: official

2017/10/23 22:06:16

Yang Wei-fuu (楊偉甫, second right)

Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) Meeting the national goal of having renewable energy contribute 20 percent of Taiwan's electricity needs by 2025 could require a NT$1.8 trillion (US$59.5 billion) investment, Vice Economic Affairs Minister Yang Wei-fuu (楊偉甫) said Monday.

Speaking at a forum on renewable energy, Yang said Taiwan had 4.8 gigawatts (GW) of installed renewable energy capacity as of July 2017, but a total of 20 GW of solar power capacity and 4.2 GW of wind power capacity would be needed to meet the 2025 energy goal.

That will take an additional NT$1.8 trillion in investment, the vice minister noted.

A total of NT$1.2 trillion will be needed to increase the installed capacity of roof-mounted solar panels to 3GW and of ground-mounted panels to 17GW by 2025, Yang said.

Under an ongoing two-year solar energy project, the total installed capacity of solar power installations should reach 1.52 GW by June 2018, he said, from 1.28 GW as of September 2017.

The goal for wind power is to increase the installed capacity of onshore wind farms to 1.2 GW and of offshore farms to 3 GW by 2025, with a total estimated investment of NT$613.5 billion, according to Yang.

Total installed capacity of these farms should reach 1.33 GW by 2020, he said, from 0.42 GW as of last month.

Taipower figures reflect the challenge Taiwan faces in increasing renewable energy sources.

As of September 2017, the installed capacity of Taiwan's renewable energy sources was 10.8 percent of the total, but it generated only 5 percent of the country's total electricity in the first eight months of the year because of the generally lower efficiency of alternative energy installations.

Much of that was hydro power, which accounted for 2.6 percent of Taiwan's total power generation in the January-August period, compared with 0.7 percent for solar power, 0.6 percent for wind power, and 1.1 percent for biomass, according to Taipower figures.

The potential for expanding hydropower in Taiwan is extremely limited, leaving the government focused on wind power and solar power to go from 5 percent of total electricity generation today to 20 percent by 2025.

(By Huang Ya-chuan and Kuan-lin Liu)