Ministry plans to increase solar installations target

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Mar 20, 2013 - Page 14

The government is planning to further raise its solar system installation target this year, from the 130 megawatts set earlier after an increase of 30 percent, and has introduced a new subsidy program in response to growing calls for adoption of clean energy, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.

EFFORTS

It would form part of the government’s efforts to step up the nation’s green-energy installations to produce 6,600 megawatts of electricity by 2025, five years earlier than its original target of 2030, according to a statement released by the ministry.

The ministry has set a new goal of boosting electricity generated by green energy, including wind farms, by 26 percent to 12,502 megawatts in 2030, from its previous target of 9,952 megawatts. The 12,502 megawatts would be enough to power 8.9 million homes a year, the ministry said.

Last year, total solar-panel installations in the nation reached an annual capacity of 100 megawatts, which was little changed from the previous year.

This year, the ministry “plans to mainly increase solar panel installations on rooftops,” an official from the Bureau of Energy, who requested not to be named, said by telephone yesterday. “We are studying how far we can go in expanding installations.”

The target figures are expected to be released at the end of June, the official said.

At the end of last year, green energy installations in the nation could generate 551 megawatts, with 222.4 megawatts coming from solar energy, the ministry said. That is still a long way from this ministry’s target of producing 3,100 megawatts by 2030.

SUBSIDY

To boost solar system installations, the ministry has launched a subsidy program that provides local governments with NT$200,000 for every 10 households that install solar systems capable of producing at least 50 megawatts of power. The size of the payments would rise depending on total capacity installed, the ministry said.

The ministry would subsidize the connection of properties with solar panels to the utility grid with a ceiling of NT$100,000 per project.

In 2011, about 45 of the nation's consumed electricity were generated by oil and 34 percent from coal, while only 0.08 percent from solar energy, according to the energy bureau's report. Nuclear power made up a 8.67 percent share, it said.