Thanks to better-than-expected performance, the Bureau of Energy, under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, has planned to raise the share of rooftop PV power in the nation's objective for PV power capacities.
Total rooftop PV power capacities have topped 2.4 GW so far, approaching the target of 3 GW by 2025, when the government's PV power objective is set at 20 GW, with the remaining 17 GW to be provided by ground-mounted PV power stations.
The faster-than-plan development of rooftop PV power is credited to installation of such devices on many factory buildings, thanks to loosening of the regulation on floor area ratio by some municipal governments, such as Tainan City and Kaohsiung City. As a result, rooftop PV power capacities are expected to hit 3 GW this year, attaining the aforementioned objective five years ahead of schedule.
As of July 2018, there had been factories in 54 indusial zones being equipped with rooftop PV power devices. A large-scale device with annual output reaching 9.59 million kWh in the Luchu branch of the Southern Taiwan Science Park in Kaohsiung completed grid connection for operation in early 2019.
Meanwhile, the development of ground-mounted stations has lagged behind schedule significantly, as it involves not only the construction of infrastructure, such as feed lines, but also environment-impact issues, notably the effect on salt farms and fish ponds. In addition, such stations have to avoid key wetlands and environment-sensitive areas.
The energy bureau, therefore, is pondering to raise the share of rooftop power, to offset possible shortfall in ground station capacities.
The prospect of green energy has been overshadowed by the passage of referendums on nuclear power and anti- air pollution, as a result of which the Executive Yuan has revoked the 2025 deadline for materializing the nuclear-free homeland vision. For the latter goal, the government originally planned to raise the share of renewable energy to 20% by 2025, compared with 30% for fuel coal and 50% for natural gas. The deadline for attaining the planned energy mix may be extended to 2030, according to Lin Chuan-neng, director general of the energy bureau.
(Collaborative media: TechNews, first photo courtesy of Steven Pisano via Flickr CC BY 2.0)