Wed, Dec 30, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Minister envisions 200,000 hectares of greenhouses

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

With around 200,000 hectares of land lying fallow nationwide, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) minister yesterday suggested building “photonic greenhouses” on fallow land to promote the development of renewable energy sources.

Not only could such facilities use solar energy to generate power, but they could also be used to raise cash crops such as orchids, EPA Minister Stephen Shen (沈世宏) said in an interview.

Shen said photonic greenhouses make use of light-pervious thin-film solar cell panels installed on their roofs. These cells are capable of separating blue-green light from the red-orange part of the spectrum and using it to generate power, while taking advantage of the heat emitted from the red-orange rays to warm the greenhouses.

If all the nation’s fallow land could be used to house these high-tech greenhouses, they could provide generous power to neighboring areas while producing crops with high economic value, he added.

Shen said that the EPA had ­contacted the German government, which has a wealth of experience in the development of renewable energy sources, to seek its assistance in sending experts to Taiwan to share their knowledge and experience in the field.

The EPA is also hoping to host a forum in Taipei in April with the German experts in attendance, he said.

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