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Wind energy cuts Taiwan CO2 emissions by 250,000 tons a year

Apr 22, 2007 - BBC Monitoring

The number of wind turbines along Taiwan's west coast now surpasses 100, and the renewable energy generated by these units is sufficient to prevent the emission of 250,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, energy officials said Sunday.

At a ceremony held in the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park to promote the use of wind power, officials from the Bureau of Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs said the 103 giant wind turbines located in 13 wind farms along Taiwan's west coast can generate 420 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year - enough to power 105,000 households.

The windmills were established by Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), the private-run Tien-Lung Paper Co. and InfraVest Wind Power Group, a German company which entered the market in 2000 as the first wind farm builder in Taiwan.

According to the officials, more windmills are under construction in west coastal areas and the outlying island group of Penghu, with an additional total capacity of 500 megawatts. Each unit will cost at least NT$100 million. They said Taiwan's coastal areas are ideal for the development of wind power because they have six months of strong northwest winds each year, with an average wind speed of five to six meters per second.

The Bureau of Energy has set the target of generating enough renewable energy to meet 10 per cent of Taiwan's electricity needs by 2010, with wind power making up 80 per cent of the renewable energy.

Taipower, the sole electricity supplier in Taiwan, began to harness wind energy in 2002 and plans to establish 200 wind turbines in Taiwan and Penghu by 2010. Taipower's long-term wind power development plant will build an additional 546 wind turbines between 2010 and 2020 in shallow waters off Taiwan's west coast and Penghu, with a total capacity of 1,980 megawatts at an estimated cost of NT$200 million each. Out of the 546 windmills, 176 will be built off Penghu, and the electricity generated by these units will be transmitted to Taiwan through a 40-km undersea cable. The other 370 units will be established 10 to 15 km off the coast of Changhua and Yunlin counties, according to Taipower.

Source: Central News Agency website, Taipei, in English 1112 gmt 22 Apr 07 BBC Mon AS1 AsPol ag