Thursday, October 19, 2017

Renewables on the March

Geothermal area on Yangmingshan

Good news on the renewable energy front in Taiwan. Taiwan's wind sourcing to rise....
Taiwan has signalled plans to raise its 2025 offshore wind goal to 5.5GW from the 3GW previously targeted.

Economy minister Shen Rongjin said Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy (BOE) plans to announce the raised target as part of a “mixed tariff” strategy for development in the country, which has rapidly emerged as a key market in the offshore wind sector’s expansion beyond Europe.

Projects in the Taiwanese approvals system that score the highest under an assessment carried out by BOE will fall under the feed-in-tariff mechanism earmarked for the original 3GW of capacity, the minister indicated.

The remaining projects will have to compete to sell power at a lower price in a tender held by national utility Taipower for the extra 2.5GW.
.... and geothermal was in the news in a Taipei Times commentary this week...
In April, the Environmental Protection Administration announced that Taiwan’s first geothermal power plant would be built in the Lize Industrial Zone in Yilan County’s Wujie Township (五結). It is estimated that, after construction is completed in 2025, the plant’s electric power generation capacity could reach 11 megawatts (MW), so that it could supply 800 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually.

In so doing, it could bring about a reduction of 350,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year compared with a thermal power station generating the same amount of electricity.

According to the plan, 11 geothermal wells are to be drilled in the industrial zone. The plant will use advanced geothermal power generation technology that extracts heat without extracting water. That is to say that water is injected deep into the earth, where it is heated to a high temperature before being circulated through a boiler, heating water in the boiler pipes to produce water vapor that drives a turbine to generate electricity.
Taiwan's researchers performed an exploratory survey in the last few years. A researcher described its findings in 2016:
Recently, one of the National Science & Technology Program (NSTP) projects has been conducting research and reevaluating the island-wide deep geothermal energy. Four hot potential sites have been recognized. They are: (1) Tatun Volcano Group of northern Taiwan; (2) I-Lan Plain of NE Taiwan; (3) Lu-Shan area of Central Taiwan; and (4) Hua-Tung area of eastern Taiwan. We found that the geothermal resource in Taiwan may be as high as 160 GWe, with 33.6 GWe of exploitable geothermal energy.
To put that last number in perspective 1 GWe is about 3% of Taiwan's national gross power generation. Geothermal is available 24/7, as baseload. A paper from the geothermal energy research team notes:
A recently released planning report on the NSTP specifies that geothermal energy is an important type of renewable energy. It is expected that geothermal energy will eventually have an installed power capacity of 7.15 GWe, which is equivalent to 14.65% of the national installed capacity which currently amounts to 48.8 GWe.
Taiwan had a working plant in the Chingshui field in Yi-lan but it was shut down due to increasing inefficiency in 1993. It was re-opened with updated technology in 2012.

To encourage the development of geothermal, in September the government raised the feed-in tariff for it:
Taiwan's Bureau of Energy (BOE) has set tentative feed-in tariffs for renewable energy in 2018 increasing the rate for geothermal energy.

The feed-in tariff for geothermal will be 5.1956 NT$/kWh an increase of 5.11% on 2017 rates.
With rapid development of geothermal, backed by wind and solar, Taiwan could easily dispense with its fossil fuel and nuclear power plants. The latter are aging and must be shut down by 2025, a major headache for whoever is running the show after Tsai Ing-wen.
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