No place like Taiwan for offshore wind power?

According to this website that ranks global windfarm’s average windspeeds, Taiwan pretty much dominates the list. Taiwan’s potential wind farm sites takes contiguous spots from #13 to #62.

The few top potential wind farm sites that don’t belong to Taiwan still sits in the Taiwan strait, usually in Fujian province.

Does that mean Taiwan and Taiwan strait is THE place for wind power?


Today’s windy and blue skies down south.
Wind farms working overtime.

Don´t know. I think one typhoon took down like 6 of them.

In teh old country we have them in between mountain passes. It works quite well. But her ein Taiwan they must be offshore for safety. Problem is that they interfere with local wildlife.

That’s just off-shore. Off-shore is more expensive but the obvious upside is that you won’t waste precious land.
Taiwan strait is pretty good for marine power too.

Yep Taiwan straits are amongst the top areas in the world for sustained wind power as anybody who has visited Penghu in Winter will tell you. :grin:
Also the straits aren’t very deep and close to land .

There are plenty of offshore wind turbine manufacturers, contractors and other parties having significant presence in Taiwan.
Every year, Dutch, Danish, German companies advertising their services for local companies or developers building offshore windmills in the strait.
Yay factors including: good wind, excellent steel manufacturing/shipbuilding support.

Depth of the water is not a factor due to current technology of floating windmills.

Of all those top ranking wind farm potential sites, Taiwan only has one wind farm up and running. Plans for plenty of them have been scrapped.

For private energy developer, building a windmill, offshore variant is very costly.
Other than the actual project, you need to spend extra for third-party testing and certification.
The certification is specific per-project. Unlike small wind where the certification is a type-certification.
You need all the support you can get from government grants, loans, etc.
Without proper certification, you can’t sell the electricity.
The selling price of electricity in Taiwan only 8 TWD/kWh.
The payment guaranteed for max 20 years.
The BEP usually more than 10 years.
During this time, you need to do maintenance and often replace some of the electronics at least once every 5 years.

For Taipower, there are other means easier, cheaper and less troublesome to generate electricity. Nuclear is a very “cheap” option for Taiwan.


Yes—if you disregard storage of spent fuel rods (there’s no plan in place), decommissioning of the plants, and assume no future trouble with earthquakes and the like.

The case for “cheap” nuclear power can be made only by bracketing and ignoring all the above.



Did you see the quote-unquote?

In serious note, generating electricity can be done in variety of ways, but primarily divided into two streams: large scale generation (hundreds of MW) and small scale generation (a few MW at best).

Large scale generation can be done using: coal, oil, gas, water, nuclear (basically you burn something to move something that move the generator).

Small scale generation usually called alternative for a reason, they consist of wind, solar power among others. Current largest windmill have rated generation of less than 10 MW.
For solar, 1 m2 of solar panel generates only 130 W max. You need 3 islands with Taiwan-size covered in solar panels to power Taiwan using solar panel only.

Taiwan have no large river, so water is impossible.
Burning coal create hectic air pollution.
Taipei could feel like Beijing-on-winter day if Linkou Coal Power Plant maxing its power.
Taiwan must import its oil/gas, also oil/gas create pollution.

Without major electricity production, I take you suggesting we back counting mantou on our spare time after work?


How did you come to this number?

Taiwan ranks 14th worldwide in energy consumption per-capita. Many major European countries average around half of what Taiwan consumes (per-capita), so it is feasible to attempt something between what we have currently and counting mantou.

Let’s say I am an insider in renewable energy industry.

Right on!

We can forget about any offshore windfarms within the Taiwan Straits, because wind farms create radar interference shadows. I doubt very much that the Taiwan Military would be very happy about making it more difficult to spot something coming in from the mainland.

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Part of the certification there is a test called EMC interference test.
You need to pass this test to build a windmill, onshore or offshore.
So this is not an issue.

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Any referrences of above claims? Would love to read more about those issues!

I always thought taiwans wind power limiting factor, aside from idiots and corruption, was too strong a wind breaking the machines. And we often get super strong winds, not just due to typhoons.

Be interesting to see some science with enclosed wind turbines that could stand up to high wind speeds. Think modern jet liner engine vs propeller as a very basic outer casing style design built in banks. Kind of what tidal generators look like a little.

Its funny remarks like we need 3 taiwan land masses of solar panels to take care of taiwans energy needs. Assuming thats accurate (its not) why is everyone now a days so black and white, 0% or 100%? Even now we dont use 1 single energy source. Its oils, coal and nuclear basically for taiwan. So those 3 dirty and dangerous sources of electricity are somehow allowed to work together, and somehow solar and wind are not also allowed to work together with the grid to reduce the pollution of coal? If solar doesnt solve energy needs, eliminate pollution entirely and teach our children english all at the same time, then it needs to get the fuck out? We have a crap ton of vacant space in taiwan, eg roof space. I agree that solar fields of small scale in farm land here is an absolute farce which serves as an embarrasment to the education level of our society. But no one serious and/or at least a little bit smart recomends that style of solar. Its a scam and corruption, simple as that.

People really are getting dumb in recent years. I mean, we need people to work at 7 11 and dig ditches etc, but sometimes think before speaking…seems if you know how to open a door or turn off the lights youre qualified for a government position. God help us.


And your comment isn’t?
Anyways. Its not hard to design turbines to not break at high wind speeds but they do have a range of operational speeds and need to turn off and engage safety systems at higher speeds. The frame thingies (forgot the name) is mostly to force the flow to enter the machine at the ideal direction but the compact layout of the wind farms prevents using those since it will adversely affect downstream turbines.
Also, the future is definitely a bit of everything.

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To give you perspective.

Windmill typically rated at 12 m/s. (i.e. 1 MW turbine producing 1 MW when wind blowing 12 m/s)
It would start making power at wind speed 3-4 m/s.
Annual wind speed average in Penghu 6-8 m/s (depends on height).
So your 1 MW turbine actually producing less than 1 MW.
It would stop rotating at 20-25 m/s wind.
Windmill typically designed to withstand extreme wind load up to 42 m/s, 52.5 m/s, 59.5 m/s or 71 m/s.
Typhoon in Taiwan usually reached 60 m/s once a year. (not hitting same area of course)
Windmill blades designed from the lightest material yet strong enough to handle the prescribed load. Typically this would be aluminum or some composites.
If you design windmill blades like gas turbine blades (in jet engines), it would be too heavy to start turning at low wind speed.

Wind speed in jet engines made faster by another mechanism, normal wind speed won’t make it turning let alone producing power.

So, while both using the name “turbines”, there are quite vast different in technology between wind turbine and gas turbine.

This is an industrial gas turbine

This is a wind turbine

You need combination of several sources of energy to fulfill a country’s needs.
China use coal and water primarily, with wind and solar power as sidekicks.
Taiwan use coal and nuclear primarily.
Even countries like Germany still using coal to contribute for their energy needs.

But for sure, “small” energy sources like wind and solar alone won’t cope with the demand, unless your country is South Sudan.

Called pitch control


Taiwan should look into scaling up geothermal power. It is at least as efficient as nuclear.

This is a good option, but not sure whether geothermal resource available in large number in Taiwan.
Could we start converting Beitou area to geothermal power plant? :smiley:

Building tidal generator would be more restricting in shipping.

we can turn turtle island into an offshore geothermal plant.