Taiwan - Energy and power

The island's installed power capacity reached 29,634,000 kW in 2001. Total electric power output reached 149,800 million kWh in 2000 (more than 60 times the 1,966 million kWh generated in 1955). Of this total, 69.5% was from fossil fuels, 5.8% from hydropower, and 24.7% from nuclear power. Consumption of electricity in 2000 was 139.3 billion kWh. As of 1998, Taiwan had six nuclear reactors at three plants with a combined installed capacity of 4,884 MW. Construction of the 2,700 MW Kungliao nuclear plant had become a controversial issue by 2000, when the Democratic People's Party government had it halted, but through legislative and judicial efforts work on the project was resumed in 2001. Primary energy requirements increased from about 33.3 million tons of oil (equivalent) in 1985 to about 66.1 million tons in 1995. Power is controlled by the Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), a government-owned corporation, but some enterprises generate power for their own consumption. In 1999 oil accounted for 49.2% of primary energy consumption and coal for 31.6%.

In 2000, Taiwan consumed 782,000 barrels of oil per day and produced less than 1,000 barrels per day. Oil is imported from the Middle East, Indonesia, Brunei, and Venezuela. River basin development is being vigorously pushed for irrigation, flood control, and power generation. In addition, experiments during the late 1970s and 1980s concentrated on developing Taiwan's geothermal potential. In 2000 a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics opened a refinery at Mailiao, with production reaching 150,000 barrels per day at midyear. Full capacity was projected to reach 450,000 barrels per day. In 1999 Taiwan imported 5.7 billion cu m of liquefied natural gas from Indonesia and Malaysia. Total gas consumption in the same year was 6.2 billion cu m. Taiwan's government intends to triple LNG consumption by 2010.

Coal production was 100,000 tons in 1999, down from 403,000 tons in 1991. The decline was due to government policies designed to close unsafe coal mines, high production costs, and reduced domestic reserves. The number of operating mines fell from 108 in 1985 to 41 at the start of 1995. Coal reserves at the end of 1996 amounted to 1.1 million tons. Natural gas reserves were 76 billion cu m at the beginning of 2001.

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