Thu, Jul 02, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Taipower plans to build another 50 wind turbines

TURN, TURN, TURN President Ma Ying-jeou promised to cut carbon emissions to 2000 levels by 2025 and the firm says it favors wind power over other renewables

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Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電), the nation’s largest producer of electricity, plans to spend NT$8 billion (US$244 million) building 50 wind turbines by 2015 to help cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

That will add to the 106 turbines already in operation and 56 under construction, Tu Yueh-yuan (杜悅元), the company’s spokeswoman and chief engineer, said during an interview in Taipei yesterday.

The state-run utility favors wind power over other forms of renewable sources, such as solar energy, Tu said.

“We will build as much wind power as we can because it’s more economical,” Tu said.

It costs Taipower between NT$2 and NT$3 to generate one kilowatt-hour of electricity using wind, compared with as much as NT$20 for solar energy, she said.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has pledged to cut carbon emissions to 2000 levels by 2025. Last month, the legislature approved a law on electricity pricing to ensure “reasonable profits” on power generated from renewable sources. Taipower is studying the possibility of setting up offshore wind farms, Tu said.

Taipower, which is 97 percent owned by the government, favors wind energy also because of the limited number of sites for hydropower plants, Tu said.

The government wants renewable energy, including solar power and wind turbines, to account for 15 percent of the electricity generation capacity by 2025, compared with 8 percent currently, Yeh Huey-ching (葉惠青), director-general of the energy bureau, said in April.

Taiwan may also start a pilot project next year to store carbon underground to help reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions. The nation ranked 22nd in 2006 among carbon dioxide-emitting nations, or almost 1 percent of the world aggregate.

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