Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wind on the march in Penghu

Taipei Times reported last month, but I wanted to highlight it:
While strong winds may be a bane for tourism in Penghu during winter, they may yet prove to be an economic boon once the 45m tall wind power turbines and submarine power cables are all installed by 2016, which could generate as much as NT$13 billion (US$434 million) a year in electricity, academics estimate.

At present, giant wind turbines spin at two sites on the island — near the coasts of Baisha Township’s (白沙) Jhongtun Village (中屯) and Husi Township’s (湖西) Peiliao Village (北寮). Both wind power sites are operated by state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower).
Alas, the noise remains an issue for many residents, as it nearly always does around windfarms. Two years a local farmer made world headlines when he said the noise had killed 400 of his goats by keeping them awake at night. At present wind generates less than 5% of Taiwan's energy.

I posted an excellent article that identified some of the obstacles to wind and renewable energy expansion in Taiwan. The article observed that Tsai Ing-wen, if elected, might create a more favorable regulatory environment for renewables -- a lost issue, which should have had more play in the campaign. But it also argues that Taiwan's energy-intensive manufacturing sector makes it difficult to implement renewables.
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