Taiwan to build new natural gas plants to meet 2025 renewable targets

Bureau of Energy announces plans of expanding natural gas storage

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A natural gas generator manufactured by Siemens in a southern power plant in Taiwan. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Taiwan is assessing whether to construct new liquefied natural gas (LNS) storage and receiving stations as part of the Tsai Administration’s aim to raise energy generated from renewables to 20 percent by 2025, said Bureau of Energy Director-General Lin Chuan-neng (林全能), Tuesday.

The government aims to increase energy generated from renewables by 5.8 times from 4.72 gigawatt (GW) in 2016 to 27.42 GW by 2025 under its ambitious green energy plan that falls under the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, said Lin during his presentation at the Ministry of Economic Affairs earlier on Tuesday.

Under the bureau's plans, it aims to boost electricity generated from low-carbon emission natural gas plants from the current 32.4 percent in 2016 to 50 percent by 2025, and in turn accelerate electricity generated by 1.7 times from 1.59 GW in 2016 to 2.77 GW by 2025.

To meet this goal, Taiwan is evaluating whether to upgrade existing natural gas plants in Tongxiao of Miaoli County, and in Taichung City, or renovate fire and coal power plants, such as the Hsieh-ho Power Plant (協和發電廠) or the Hsinta Power Plant (興達發電廠).

The government intends to expand LNG storage and receiving stations capacity by 2.1 times from 14 million metric tons back in 2016 to 28.7 million metric tons by 2025.

"We are currently evaluating whether to expand existing LNG storage capacity in receiving stations in Taichung City, and Yongan natural gas storage station," said Lin.

Taiwan is highly reliant on fuel imports, importing nearly 97.96 percent of fuels including oil (48.79 percent), coal (29.41 percent), natural gasses (13.49 percent), and fuel rods for nuclear power plants (6.27 percent), according to statistics compiled by the bureau.

The nation only produces 2.04 percent of fuel domestically, with 1.16 percent of this fuel in the form of biomass, and less than one percent for natural gasses, solar energy, wind turbine or hydroelectric power.

To stabilize the possible impact from volatile international oil and gas prices, the Minister of Economic Affairs Lee Chih-kung (李世光) noted the country will be establishing a fuel fund to regulate prices to ensure electricity prices remain stable.