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Taipei City: Wind power an economic fit in Taiwan, but issues remain: experts

Taipei City: Wind power an economic fit in Taiwan, but issues remain: experts

Experts yesterday urged the government to consider wind power, and especially smaller-sized turbines, as a primary source of renewable energy because the industry in Taiwan is relatively well developed.

Tso Chun-to, the director of Taiwan Institute of Economic Research Research Division I, said at a seminar on Taiwan's renewable energy policy that the country should concentrate in building small to medium-sized wind turbines because of their substantial market potential.

Taiwan is fully capable of manufacturing 10kW or smaller wind turbines, Tso said, and Taiwan's output value of such products will hit an estimated NT$1.7 billion in 2011, about five times the total in 2010.

Their primary use would be to generate power in street lights, traffic signals and communication facilities, according to the Taiwan Small & Medium Wind Turbine Association, where Tso serves as the secretary-general.

Small wind turbines can produce 3,300 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, supporting 70 percent of an average household's needs, and can be easily installed on roofs, making them a good source of energy for people living in remote areas, the association said.

With more than 20 system integration companies and 10 manufacturers investing in the field, Tso said, Taiwan has a solid wind power industry chain, increasing the viability of developing the business here.

He also suggested that Taiwan could develop specialized wind turbines that can be incorporated into landscapes to attract tourists.

"Just look at how much fun the wind turbines added to the Taipei International Flora Expo, " he said, referring to the expo's 12 wind turbines installed along the Dajia River Park Area.

Despite Tso's enthusiasm, National Taiwan University economics professor Chen Tain-jy said the government needed to devise a broader policy on renewable energy and address practical issues, such as possible noise pollution from wind mills, before wind power could take hold.

"Many of the energy policies are only half workable due to a lack of comprehensive planning, " Chen said. "The government needs to fill the gap between theory and practice when introducing new policies so that everyone can benefit from green energy."

Updated : 2021-10-19 00:39 GMT+08:00