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Taiwan-UK collaboration will help Taiwan's energy transition: Taipower

09/22/2023 08:24 PM
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(Left to right) Taipower Vice President Wu Ching-chung, MOEA Bureau of Energy Director Yu Chen-wei, MOEA Chief Secretary Chen Yi-ling, UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Taiwan Lord Richard Faulkner of Worcester, Reactive Technologies representative David Sterling, and Director of Trade and Investment at British Office Taipei Stephanie Ashmore, pose for photo at the 18th UK-Taiwan Renewable Energy Conference in Taipei on Friday. Photo courtesy of British Office Taipei Sept. 22, 2023
(Left to right) Taipower Vice President Wu Ching-chung, MOEA Bureau of Energy Director Yu Chen-wei, MOEA Chief Secretary Chen Yi-ling, UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Taiwan Lord Richard Faulkner of Worcester, Reactive Technologies representative David Sterling, and Director of Trade and Investment at British Office Taipei Stephanie Ashmore, pose for photo at the 18th UK-Taiwan Renewable Energy Conference in Taipei on Friday. Photo courtesy of British Office Taipei Sept. 22, 2023

Taipei, Sept. 22 (CNA) Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) on Friday touted its partnership with a UK firm to better stabilize Taiwan's power grid as the country looks to integrate more renewable energy sources into its existing power system.

At the 18th UK-Taiwan Renewable Energy Conference, which took place in Taipei on Friday, Taiwan-UK collaboration was showcased as an example of the two countries' efforts to share renewable energy expertise and partnering for a smoother transition to renewable energy.

According to Taipower Vice President Wu Chin-chung (吳進忠), the company, with the help of the British Office in Taipei, has successfully incorporated measuring grid inertia technology into its power system, an innovation created by British firm Reactive Technologies Limited.

As Taiwan seeks to move toward the goal of having 20 percent of electricity generated by renewable sources, Wu said, power generated by wind farms and solar panels will have to increase.

However, as wind and solar power are intermittent sources of energy, supporting measures are needed for grid operators to ensure the stability and resilience of the electricity grid.

"Our cooperation on introducing the inertia measuring technology from Reactive Technologies will help us monitor the dynamic of the power system when a large amount of renewable energy is incorporated into the system, and after having a grasp on the dynamics, we can schedule the use of other generators and resources accordingly in advance," Wu explained.

"Accidents in the system could also be overcome faster, lowering the risk of power outages or rationing," he added, stressing that the new technology is crucial for Taiwan's renewable energy transition.

Wu said Taipower started using the monitoring platform from the British firm last December, setting up 10 "XMUs" (frequency measurement devices) in different regions of the country to measure changes to the frequency in the power system.

According to Reactive Technologies, inertia measuring allows grid operators to accurately monitor grid inertia in real time, which will help with the expansion of renewable energy generation.

"Traditional electrical generators such as fossil, nuclear, or hydroelectric power plants have many continuously rotating parts...[that] naturally produce inertia" by "synchronizing to the same frequency," explained the company on its website.

"Without guaranteed sources of inertia to keep the grid stable, it becomes difficult - and expensive - to replace fossil-fueled generators with renewables," it continued.

Reactive Technologies Limited representative David Sterling said at the event that as Taiwan is "a very early adopter of offshore wind, Taipower will be the first to face the new challenges that operators around the world will encounter as they transition to net zero."

Increasing renewable energy creates instability in the grid, in particular with regards to inertia, something that Taipower is very wary of, Sterling said.

He praised Taipower's early adoption of the measure for addressing the inertia problem, noting that other countries, such as the UK and Australia, only began implementing inertia measurement after encountering grid problems.

Thursday's conference started with remarks by Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs Chief Secretary Chen Yi-ling (陳怡鈴) and Lord Richard Faulkner of Worcester, the UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Taiwan, who is currently leading 10 UK renewable energy companies to make exchanges with Taiwanese businesses and government officials.

Lord Faulkner said he wished to extend his congratulations to the ministry and its Bureau of Energy on "overcoming many challenges to make progress towards Taiwan's offshore wind ambitions," adding that Taiwan's offshore wind energy sector is "well positioned to leverage its domestic market capabilities and take advantage of regional opportunities."

He also noted that Taiwan is the UK's largest offshore wind market in the Asia Pacific and "the UK export credit agency has provided more than 500 million pounds in export credit guarantees to three offshore wind farms in Taiwan."

Continuing bilateral collaboration on renewable energy is the key to ensuring both Taiwan and the UK achieve shared sustainability and net zero goals, he said.

(By Alison Hsiao)

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