Mon. May 27th, 2024

Energy independence rhymes with security in Taiwan

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Nov20,2023

Energy independence rhymes with security in Taiwan

Open in full screen mode

The first wind turbine project saw the light of day ago four years in Taiwan.

  • Philippe Leblanc (View profile)Philippe Leblanc

Feature being tested

Log inCreate my account

Speech synthesis, based on intelligence artificial, allows you to generate a spoken text from a written text.

Electricity is at the heart of national security concerns in Taiwan. The small island is particularly vulnerable to a Chinese blockade because almost all of its supplies of gas, oil and coal to make electricity come from outside.

As part of its green shift, but also to ensure its energy independence, Taiwan is accelerating the development of renewable energies.

Despite ideal conditions, the offshore wind sector is still in its infancy in Taiwan. The first project was launched four years ago and 148 others have been completed or announced since.

The goal is for 20% of the electricity consumed in Taiwan to come from renewable energy in just two years. The targeted contribution from offshore wind farms is 5.7 gigawatts, enough to power nearly six million homes.

Most experts doubt the goals will be met. Several projects have been delayed due to the pandemic and bureaucratic obstacles. These same analysts predict that the share of wind energy will be only 2 gigawatts by the end of the year.

We must make this energy transition and ensure that the electricity grid is more stable, argues Chiang Mao-hsiung, rector of the College of Engineering at National Taiwan University. It's not just an energy issue. It is also a matter of security and national defense.

The Taiwanese government aims to meet its own energy needs, because coal and oil come from abroad. What would be done if the ports were to be closed?

A quote from Chiang Mao-hsiung, rector of the College of Engineering at National Taiwan University

Fears of invasion by China have increased since last year, particularly since Chinese military exercises in August 2022. The island could quickly be plunged into darkness in the event of a blockade, a strategy that China does not rule out.

It must be said that 98% of the diesel, coal and natural gas that power Taiwan's power plants come from abroad.

The report by our correspondent in Asia, Philippe Leblanc.

The issue of Taiwan's energy independence is even more pressing due to the island's strategic position in the global market. More than 90% of advanced microchips are designed there. Semiconductor production is an energy-intensive sector and Taiwan wants to maintain its market share.

It's a very large economy, a key part of the global technology supply chain that requires a lot of energy, a lot of electricity, says Mike Crawley, CEO of Canadian company Northland Power, who sees this a business opportunity. These companies which supply the entire planet with their high technology must reduce their carbon footprint.

Open in full screen mode

View of the Hai Long project in Taiwan

Northland Power has already carried out projects in Europe and has started construction in Taiwan of one called Hai Long, one of the largest in Asia. This offshore wind farm with a capacity of one gigawatt – enough to power a million homes – must be operational within three years.

We are partnering with a Singapore company and with the Japanese company Mitsui, which has been doing business in Taiwan for several decades. So we can hire many local workers, adds Mike Crawley.

The training of workers for the offshore wind turbine sector is booming in Taiwan. A training center subsidized by the government and private companies like Taiwan Steel Group was established five years ago. More than 800 workers are trained each year.

The first year, we only trained 40 people, but today, Japanese people also participate in the workshops, we explain.

In the high winds, near Taichung port facilities, former engineer Gabriel Lin learns with foreign workers the basics of safety for working in offshore wind farms.

I reoriented my career. I want to help Taiwan meet its energy needs and I would like the energy future to be green. It’s my dream, he said.

For this dream to come true, the energy transition, which is also a question of national security, will have to accelerate quickly.

  • Philippe Leblanc (View profile)< source srcset=",w_160/v1/personnalites-rc/1x1/philippe-leblanc.png" media="(min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 1023px)">Philippe LeblancFollow
Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

Related Post