Energy security in Taiwan
Taiwan is an island nation of about 23.3 million people, located 120 km off the southeastern coast of mainland China. In the mid-twentieth century, hydropower was already Taiwan’s main source of power generation. However, with the economic take-off, and the accompanying surge in demand for electricity, Taiwan had to rely on oil and coal imports to satisfy the majority of its energy demand. Hydroelectric power currently accounts for only about 13% of the country’s total power generation, while nuclear power generation and fossil fuel based power accounts for 17% and 70%, respectively.
Mingjian hydroplant generates clean electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of 20,313 households, contributing to the efforts of decreasing Taiwan’s dependency towards fossil fuel import. The overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels in Taiwan also incurs the problem of generating significant greenhouse gas emissions. 49% of Taiwan’s electricity is generated by coal, and coal fired thermal power plants are the island’s main greenhouse gas emitter. By producing clean electricity, Mingjian prevents the emission of 56,164 tonnes of CO2, as verified by Bureau Veritas, a French accredited certification body, under ISO 14064-2 in 2011.
A local icon
The project has become part of 921 Earthquake Commemoration tourist attractions in the region. 2,416 lives were lost in the 7.3 magnitude quake that occurred on 21 September 1999 in Nantou County.
The “Tilting Electric Tower” (photo source: thenhbushman.com), leaning at an angle of 16.5 degrees at the center of the park, is a fitting memorial to the earthquake and demonstrates the extent of the damage. The local engineering authority has certified that this tower is safe to leave it as it is, and it now serves as a place for education and further scientific research on faults.
Other facilities such as site introduction, scenic spots, nature observatory, and recreational activities have been setup at the project site for visitors.