State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) is building a small-scale power grid in Penghu County’s Cimei Township (七美) to generate solar and wind power, with the aim of generating about 3.37 megawatts of electricity by 2019.
Solar and wind power can together supply the energy needs of outlying Penghu, where the wind is strongest in fall and winter and daylight hours are greatest in summer, said I-Shou University professor Chen Chao-shun (陳朝順), a member of the second phase of the National Energy Program.
While power generated from diesel fuel costs NT$16 (US$0.53) per kilowatt-hour (kWh), replacing it with “green” energy sources can save an estimated NT$53.92 million per year, he said, adding that carbon emissions can be reduced as well.
Photo provided by Taiwan Power Co
By 2019, up to 45 percent of the township’s electricity, particularly power consumed in nonpeak hours, is to be generated from renewable energy sources, he said.
Photovoltaic installations in the township could generate up to 1,200 kilowatts (kW) during peak power consumption by next year, increasing solar power generation in the county threefold over current levels, Taipower said.
By 2019, the capacity of wind power installations could amount to 600kW, while the power storage system for renewable energy is to be expanded to 2,000kWh.
As the efficiency of solar and wind power generation is susceptible to changes in weather, they can only become sources of baseload power when the problem of intermittent generation is resolved, Taipower spokesperson Lin Te-fu (林德福) said, adding that it is also essential to upgrade the energy storage system.
Lithium batteries cost US$600 per kilowatt-hour of electricity stored and can last for 10 years, Chen said.
Even if the cost is expected to be halved after 2020, it is too expensive for lithium batteries to be broadly used in Taiwan, he said, adding that this is why the battery is being tested on an outlying island first.
Penghu can demonstrate how low-carbon power generation works best so that the utility can spend money effectively, Taipower department of renewable energy director Chen I-cheng (陳一成) said.
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