Taiwan has many steep river slopes, and abundant rainfall and water resources. And yet the country depends on imports for near 98 percent of its energy consumption, and almost all of that is fossil fuels from turbulent areas such as the Middle East. This creates not only strategic vulnerability, but also imposes economic risks. The development of renewable energy generation, such as the Mingjian hydroelectric power plant, has contributed to increasing the share of renewable energy in the grid and supporting education and tourism in the region.
Mingjian hydro plant is located in the heart of Taiwan, in the mountainous forest of Nantou County. The plant utilizes water flow from the North part of Chushui River through the Chichi Weir. The stream also provides farmers at downstream areas (Changhua, Yunlin and Chiayi) with water for irrigation. Mingjian Township produces pineapples and tea. Much of Taiwan’s famous pineapple cake is made using the region’s pineapples. The plant has also supported education and rural tourism initiatives in the region.