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Manager of German turbine firm talks up wind farms

TAIPEI--A manager at a German wind turbine company said Taiwan has good potential for expanding wind power generation, suggesting the country can start with community wind farms as a way to increase public awareness of the alternative energy source.

If community residents can invest in and profit from wind turbines, they will look at these facilities in a different way, said Bart Linssen, service manager at Solvent GmbH's Taiwan branch and Dutch national, in an interview with CNA on the sidelines of TEDxTaipei's Shareable Cities forum in Taipei.

Linssen, whose company is involved in the installation and maintenance of wind turbines in Taiwan, said a lack of public acceptance is still the major obstacle to installing such facilities in Taiwan, but he believes the problem can be tackled through incentives.

Denmark's government, for example, drafted regulations to ensure that community wind turbines can be connected to the grid and residents can profit from the sale of power they create, he said.

“If we can convince them that people will benefit from it (wind farms), that it's safe and has actual benefits for them, there is much potential there,” he said.

Power generated from wind, geothermal and solar photovoltaic facilities accounted for 0.13 percent of Taiwan's energy supply in 2013, according to government statistics.

As of the end of 2012, Taiwan has 161 wind power units which boast an installed capacity of 286.76 megawatts, statistics show.

The government has said it plans to build 600 offshore wind power units by 2030.

Taiwan is ideally suited to developing wind energy, according to Linssen, because of its abundant wind, especially in the north of the island.

“Our turbines produce two times more (power) in Taiwan than in Germany,” he said.

Falling costs for wind energy production could help spur its development in Taiwan.

In 1984, the cost of wind power was around NT$8 (US$0.27) per kilowatt-hour, while in 2012 it had fallen to about NT$2 per kWh, he said.

But he admitted there are limits to the power source. Wind power can fluctuate depending on the season, and there are still hurdles to storing large amounts of wind energy.

Wind turbines are not the only renewable energy option for Taiwan, he noted, saying that everything from biomass to solar power should be used to its maximum extent.

“You may still need gas or other sources, but let's try to get rid of coal first and work with gas,” said Linssen, who called coal-fired power plants “very polluting,” “disastrous” and “not the way we should go.”

In the end, he said, Taiwan's biggest renewable energy sources is “energy efficiency.”

Taiwan has one of the cheapest electricity prices in the world, so people are not using it efficiently, he said.

May 13, 2014    ntcmtlpeterlee@
Abstract 1:
Wind turbines are not the only renewable energy option for Taiwan, he noted, saying that everything from biomass to solar power should be used to its maximum extent.
“You may still need gas or other sources, but let's try to get rid of coal first and work with gas,” said Linssen, who called coal-fired power plants “very polluting,” “disastrous” and “not the way we should go.”
Comment 1:
These 2 points of view are absolutely right.

Abstract 2:
If community residents can invest in and profit from wind turbines, they will look at these facilities in a different way, said Bart Linssen, service manager at Solvent GmbH's Taiwan branch and Dutch national.
Comment 2:
This point of view is only partially correct. Consideration should be given to the fact that the residents closest to the wind turbine shall suffer most from the adherent noise. Therefore, the surrounding residents should be compensated according to the extent of suffering while the whole community is benefited. Legislation should be completed before any wind turbine shall be installed in densely populated communities.

Abstract 3:
As of the end of 2012, Taiwan has 161 wind power units which boast an installed capacity of 286.76 megawatts, statistics show.
The government has said it plans to build 600 offshore wind power units by 2030.
Comment 3:
The government (or Taipower) should build at faster rate more offshore wind power units which are far away from inland communities or business areas where the noise generated by wind turbine becomes trivial. Mountain peaks should also be considered as ideal locations for wind power units.

Abstract 4:
In 1984, the cost of wind power was around NT$8 (US$0.27) per kilowatt-hour, while in 2012 it had fallen to about NT$2 per kWh, he said.
Comment 4:
This should be an incentive for Taipower whose current lowest price for electrical power is higher than NT$2/kWh.

Abstract 5:
But he admitted there are limits to the power source. Wind power can fluctuate depending on the season, and there are still hurdles to storing large amounts of wind energy.
Comment 5:
Effect of Wind power fluctuation can be minimized or even eliminated if all possible means(the so-called renewable energy resources) for electrical power generation are consolidated and implemented as an intergral plan. If only the electrical power generated in all different ways can be fed into the power grid(or network) immediately after generation, there is no need to worry about the storage for large amount of any kind of energy.

Note:
For comprehensive information about all the renewable energy resources available in Taiwan, please visit the English website 'Thinking Taiwan' and select the label 'renewable energy'. In the end of the article 'The KMT Brings order to the Galaxy' you can read the abstracted 'Table 2: Taiwan's renewable energy potential'.
May 13, 2014    ntcmtlpeterlee@
I have just completed and submitted a comment, at the end of which I have recommended a table 'Taiwan's renewable energy potential' for readers' reference. Although this table is out of date, it is still valuable and worthy of reference. I sincerely hope that my comment (or suggestion) can be reviewed by Taipower and all the professionals who are concerned about the future of Taiwan and are seeking for a solution to the shortage of electrical power. I believe that Taipower, with the aid of all concerned professionals, will be able to update the mentioned table, which, once updated, can be used as basis for a strategic plan to solve the problem of electric power shortage and hopefully demolish all the existing nuclear power plants one after another.

May God bless Taiwan and all Taiwanese!
May 14, 2014    ntcmtlpeterlee@
Some more words about how to eliminate the effect of Wind power fluctuation.

Abstract:

As of the end of 2012, Taiwan has 161 wind power units which boast an installed capacity of 286.76 megawatts, statistics show.

Suggestion:

Build suitable number of conventional power plants (say, fueled with biomass) with a total of more than 286.76 Megawatts and connect them in parallel mode with the existing 161 wind power units to form a power network. An automatic online control system shall be needed to monitor the total real time output of all the wind power units and ignite/shut down some or all of the biomass power plants on real time basis to maintain a constant output of 286.76 Megawatts. Solar power, tidal power and geothermal plants can also be consolidated into an integrated power network for more Megawatts of output, but the automatic control system shall be more complicated.

Above is only a simplified algorithm for an expected integral power network. Of course, the number for each type of power units to be consolidated in an ideal/perfect network can only be decided based upon realistic situation a need. I believe Taiwan has the required technology to make it happen. Jia-yiu!
May 15, 2014    boogurtwang@
Windmills eh?
One would do well to research the "success" of windmill operations in Europe and the antics of organized crime which went hand-in-hand with those operations.

And then there is the Dead Birds problem.

Do some research on the issue Taiwan.
May 18, 2014    ntcmtlpeterlee@
boogurtwang@ wrote:
Windmills eh?
One would do well to research the "success" of windmill operations in Europe and the antics of organized crime which went hand-in-hand with those operations.

And then there is the Dead Birds problem.

Do some research on the issue Taiwan.
Thanks for your feedback. Would appreciate if you can tell more about the crime which, as you mentioned, went hand-in-hand with windmill operations; because the better we know about the problem, the less opportunities for it to happen in Taiwan.

As to the 'dead birds problem', less and less birds shall be killed tragically by windmills because they can learn by experience and become smarter. On the other hand, all renewable energy, including wind, adopted to generate electrical power with the objective to completely replace the nuclear plants in Taiwan, once successfully realized, can avoid all the potential tragedies & destructions and save all the Taiwanese & other living creatures(including all the birds) in Taiwan from nuclear catastrophe. So, it's worthwhile to go on in this direction.
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