If Taiwan's PV success is likely to stay centred around exports, it has significant ambitions for its most obvious natural asset – the oceans that surround it and the winds that blow there.Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion is described in this Youtube video. Unlike fossil fuels which are environmental poisons, OTEC can have an interesting by-product if you live on a tropical island: fresh water. Wiki notes:
Offshore wind power is central to Taiwan's renewable energy project, says a spokeswoman for the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the Taiwanese government's technical arm. 'Renewable energy in Taiwan for the most part will be offshore wind power,' she adds.
The nation's industrial sector announced its offshore ambitions at the end of 2010 with the formation of the Taiwan Offshore Wind Power Alliance – made up of 18 companies from the region's energy, engineering and manufacturing sectors – and plans to set up Taiwan's first offshore wind farm in Changhua County, according to local reports. Commercial operations are due to begin in the second quarter of 2013 with its first two 5 MW turbines. If all goes to plan, these will be joined by a further 122 machines by the end of 2016.
Late 2010 also saw the Taiwanese government unveil its own plans for an 8 MW offshore wind demonstration project off the Penghu Islands, to be operational by the end of 2012. Penghu – a cluster of 90 small islands off the western coast of the Taiwanese mainland – is set to become something of a showcase for the country's renewable and low carbon credentials.
The government has pledged support to turn Penghu into Taiwan's first low-emission county by 2015. Plans include 96 MW of onshore wind capacity, solar energy initiatives and the creation of recharging infrastructure for electric mobility. According to Taiwan's Council for Economic Planning and Development, this should enable 56% of Penghu's energy needs to be met from renewable sources by the end of the five-year programme.
Penghu will also play a major role in Taiwan's efforts to harness ocean energy, a high priority technology for the government and ITRI. The national target is for a 200 MW installed capacity by 2025.
With around 1500 km of coastline and a sub-tropical environment, Taiwan has been investigating two main strands of ocean energy development since 2005, when its National Energy Conference formally decreed it a priority.
One is Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), in which the country is at the forefront of global research thanks to ITRI's collaboration with Lockheed Martin of the US. The second focus of Taiwan's ocean push is to unlock the considerable potential of the waves and tidal currents around its shores. According to ITRI, studies have shown that the north-east offshore region of Taiwan has a wave energy potential of several hundred megawatts, while the east coast's Kuroshio path and the Pescadores Channel (off Penghu) have tidal current energy that could theoretically be tapped at gigawatt scale.
OTEC can also supply quantities of cold water as a by-product . This can be used for air conditioning and refrigeration and the fertile deep ocean water can feed biological technologies. Another by-product is fresh water distilled from the sea.The article also discusses the state of Taiwan's PV tech producers relative to the market -- the old Taiwan story of being good at producing stuff but not at the service side -- installing, distributing, etc. Between them Taiwan and China control around 60% of the global PV market.
There's a map of Taiwan's wind machines but it locates some things in the wrong places, like the four windmills on Datun 12th Street in Taichung city. Oops.
This paper in Renewable Energy discusses the island's wind power potential. At present about 40% of Taiwan's energy comes from coal, a policy that is insane from both an environmental and energy security policy standpoint.
- Chinese rag runs article about KMT legislators complaining about Americans getting biased reporting from the Taipei Times.
- DPP working on cross-strait policies for election and beyond. Can we please stop writing "remarks certain to rankle Beijing." Let Beijing speak for itself; it has Xinhua for that. Quit playing to the propaganda that the DPP provokes Beijing.
- Banyan at the Economist visits the renovated 2-28 Museum. So far everyone says it's been toned down but not totally whitewashed. Poagao said that much of the old art has been retained. The key thing has been the removal of documents that connect Chiang Kai-shek to the massacre. BTW, Banyan, the original sin of the KMT is being an authoritarian, colonialist party. Everything else, including 2-28, flows from that.
- China Reform Monitor notes (Russia has a Jewish Autonomous Region??):
Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports that China is “investing far greater funds in Russia's Far East than the Russian Government” and called the imbalance “Beijing’s clear state policy to assimilate new territories.” The newspaper cites an official Xinhua press report on investment in the Russian Far East claiming that Chinese investors have established 34 special Chinese economic zones in Russia’s Amur Oblast, Maritime Kray, Khabarovsk Kray, and the Jewish Autonomous Region, where they have invested a total of $3 billion mostly in resource extraction. Chinese entrepreneurs also hope to open industrial and agricultural zones in Russia, including processing zones, stock raising, construction, timber cutting, and wholesale markets. To oversee the construction and development of China’s industrial and agricultural zones in Russia, the Heilongjiang provincial administration has created a special leading group. The Russian paper reported that in 2011, Moscow’s total transfers to these regions' – $170 million for Amur Oblast, $74 million for the Jewish Autonomous Region, $234 million for Khabarovsk Kray, and $344 million for Maritime Kray – are under one third China’s investment.
- Blacked Out Korea -- yes, a site dedicated to photos of Koreans blacked out from being blind drunk in public places.
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