As of the end of April, Taiwan’s total PV power capacity had topped 3.12 GW, up 53.7% year-on-year, exceeding the 2.09 GW of the nation’s hydraulic power and accounting for 47% of its total green energy, which is 10.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Energy under the island’s Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Around 97% of Taiwan’s PV power capacities are for self-use, for which the government’s incentives play a major role, said the bureau.
The government is currently planning to raise its total PV power capacity to around 20 GW by 2025, including 3 GW of residential rooftop systems and 17 GW of ground mounted stations. For the former, the government has rolled out the "Green Energy on Every Roof" program in 2017. The implementation of the program has enabled the total capacity of such systems to top 2.4 GW in the island in early 2019.
In Tainan City, the total PV capacity is currently at 398.163 kilowatts, which is the highest among all municipalities, followed closely behind by Yunlin County with 395.860 kilowatts and Changhua County with 306.192 kilowatts.
Renewable-energy installation capacities and annual growth rate
Source: Directorate General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics, Executive Yuan
As shown in the figure above, Taiwan's total renewable-energy capacities have been growing steadily in the recent years, rising from 5.26 GW in 2017 to 6.25 GW in 2018 and 6.63 GW in April 2019, with the continuing annual growth rate reaching 19.9%. As a result, the share of the nation’s renewable energy in its total power supply had hit 12.5%, which is two percentage points higher compared to a year earlier.
As of now, PV power has already become a solid backup for Taiwan's entire power supply, with the island’s total PV output having topped 1.768 GW on 11:20 a.m. on June 6th, which is approximately 5.2% of the total power supply then, and its total renewable-energy power output exceeding that of nuclear power on 11:10 a.m. on June 18th.
Like PV power, wind power is expected to also become a key part of Taiwan’s renewable energy market in the future as more and more major wind farms are established. This includes the second phase of the island’s Formosa I project with 120 MW of capacity which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019, the 376 MW Formosa II project which is scheduled to be completed by 2020, and the 640 MW Yunlin wind farm of the German firm wpd which is expected to be completed by 2021.
(Collaborative media: TechNews, first photo courtesy of Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Flickr CC0 1.0)