Taiwan unveils Asia's biggest solar plant: govt

Thursday, December 24, 2009

TAIPEI (AFP) – Taiwan has unveiled what it calls Asia's biggest solar power plant as the island, which imports almost all its energy, seeks to tap into clean renewable resources, the government said Wednesday.

The two-hectare (4.9-acre) plant in south Taiwan's Kaohsiung county, an area that enjoys year-round sunshine, is equipped with 141 huge solar panels that can generate one megawatt in total, said the Atomic Energy Council.

One megawatt is enough to power 1,000 homes, according to an official at the council, which is also in charge of sustainable energy.

The facility, which started operating Tuesday, will help Taiwan cut its carbon emissions by up to 660-700 tonnes annually, officials said.

Taiwan estimates its solar energy industry will be worth up to 200 billion Taiwan dollars (6.25 billion US dollars) by 2020, said the council.

Taiwan's parliament in June passed a major renewable energy bill aimed at adding between 6,500 and 10,000 megawatts of installed energy from renewable sources over the next 20 years.

Currently, Taiwan produces only 2,278 megawatts, or 5.8 percent of installed capacity, from renewable sources, according to the state-run Taiwan Power Co.



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