A solar-powered pig farm that opened in Yunlin County on Thursday is the largest of its kind to be built in the country, and Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) hopes it will serve as a role model.
Visiting the 2 hectare farm in Dongshih Township (東勢), Su said the county government would ask the central government to formulate a plan to provide better subsidies and incentives for livestock farmers who use photovoltaic systems to generate electricity.
New subsidies and incentives would attract more farmers to build solar farms, she said.
Chou Chin-lai’s (周金來) farm was a good example of how industries can reduce greenhouse gases, accelerate industry upgrades and ensure development in an environmentally friendly way, she said.
Chou said he spent more than NT$100 million (US$3.37 million) on building the new farm, which has a photovoltaic capacity of 1,000 kilowatts and is capable of generating 1.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually.
Electricity generated by the farm could help farmers generate about NT$10 million annually, Chou said.
Yunlin County is one of the nation’s major livestock-producing regions and smells associated with rearing livestock have long troubled locals, Yunlin County Agricultural Department Director-General Lu Cheng-Chang (呂政璋) said.
Chou’s new farm shows the livestock industry could develop into a low-polluting and low-energy-consuming industry, Lu said.
The international community has been paying close attention to global warming issues related to methane released by animals, Yunlin County Environmental Protection Bureau Director-General Yeh Te-hui (葉德惠) said.
Methane is 72 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, Yeh said, noting that the New Zealand government has even placed a “fart tax” on farms for methane released by livestock.