We chose to provide four options for hypothetical energy demand in 2025. The first option is the projected energy demand stated in the 2015 Taipower Development plan, which predicts a peak demand of 42423 MW. The second option is a hypothetical net zero increase in energy demand, meaning peak demand would remain at the 2015 value of 35707 MW. The last two options provide potential values for decreases in energy demand based on a 1% annual reduction over the next 8 years and a 2% annual reduction over the next 8 years. We make no recommendations for which scenario is the most likely.
- Source: Taipower’s 2015 Development Plan
- Net Zero. Source: Taipower’s 2015 Development plan
- 1% Yearly Reduction: (.99^8) * 2015 Demand
- 2% Yearly Reduction: (.98^8) * 2015 Demand
Taiwan currently has three operational nuclear power plants and one plant in construction. Each power plant has two nuclear reactors. Thus, users have the choice to test how many and which plants will be operational in 2025, as well as how many reactors at each plant will be operational. We are assuming that there will be no new nuclear power plants constructed in Taiwan between now and 2025. We make no recommendations for what the optimal state of nuclear power in 2025 should be.
Taiwan currently utilizes coal, oil, and gas as fossil fuels to produce approximately 77% of electricity. For each of these resources, users can select a hypothetical value for the installed capacity of that resource in 2025 within a range of values. The lower threshold of each range was set to 0 under the assumption that fossil fuel consumption could hypothetically decrease to any degree. The upper threshold of each sliding scale was set to the installed capacity for that resource if all existing plants stay operational and plans to build new plants, as outlined in the 2016 Taipower Development Report, commence. We have also included a “Taipower” value for each resource. This value takes into account any plant closings currently planned for in the 1026 Taipower Development Report. Thus, we are operating under the assumption that electricity production via coal, oil, and gas will continue to be primarily if not entirely under the purview of Taipower, as it has historically been. We recognize that electricity production via fossil fuels is a large source of greenhouse gas (GHG) and particularly carbon dioxide emissions, the reduction of which is a primary aim of Taiwan’s government if not most world governments in order to alleviate climate change. Thus, if GHG emission reduction goals are to be met, some level of decrease in fossil fuel consumption will have to be enacted.
As pumped hydrostorage is not mechanism for producing electricity but rather storing electricity (since it actually uses more electricity to pump the water than it produces), this source is rather marginal for the purposes of the calculator. We decided to factor in the current installed capacity of pumped hydro-storage, but did not include it in the calculations for electricity production, since that would be inaccurate by definition. We are assuming that Taiwan’s capacity for pumped hydrostorage will not increase by significant enough amounts that accounting for any increase would be necessary for the purpose of this calculator.
- Solar Photovoltaic
- Users can select a discrete hypothetical value for the installed capacity of solar photovoltaic power in 2025 within a range. The lower limit for this range is the current installed capacity of solar photovoltaic resources, since we are assuming total capacity would not decrease considering the vested interest to invest in clean renewable energy. The upper limit is 20 GW, which is the value that government representatives have stated is the target goal for solar PV capacity in 2025.
- Users can select a discrete hypothetical value for the installed capacity of wind-generated electricity in 2025 within a range. The lower limit for this range is the current installed capacity of wind-generated electricity, since we are assuming total capacity would not decrease considering the vested interest to invest in clean renewable energy. The upper limit is 4 GW, which is the value that government representatives have stated is the target goal for solar PV capacity in 2025.
- We have included the discrete installed capacity for garbage/biogas in 2015 and we are assuming that it will not change in a significant way, since it already currently composes a very small percent of electricity production.
- Conventional Hydropower
- We have included the discrete installed capacity for conventional hydropower in 2015 and we are assuming that it will not change in a significant way. This is because Taiwan has already utilized most of its hydropower potential and cannot feasibly increase hydropower capacity, but we also do not expect hydropower to decrease significantly.
- Geothermal Energy
- Geothermal Energy does not currently contribute to electricity generation in Taiwan, but Taipower’s 2016 Development Plan does include plans to utilize geothermal energy. However, the installed capacity for geothermal energy planned to be built between now and 2025 is rather marginal – composing less than 100 MW. Thus, it appears that geothermal energy is being pursued within the next 10 years as merely proof-of-concept and not for the purposes of utilizing it as a dependable source of electricity production.
Total Installed Capacity
Both Taipower and the Bureau of Energy have data recording the existing installed capacities for each type of electricity-generating resource. The Installed Capacity output for “Today’s Situation” and “Taipower Scenario” are based off on published reports detailing what power plants currently exist and how Taipower plans to increase capacity for each resource. The Installed Capacity for “Custom scenario” sums up the user-selected capacities for nuclear power, fossil fuel resources, solar power, wind power, and fixed-value sources including hydropower, cogeneration/biogas, and geothermal. The latter sources are fixed-value because they are not expected to increase in capacity to any significant degree by 2025.
Reserve capacity refers to the percent of excess capacity available to use at peak demand. This is taken by subtracting total demand, a user input, from total capacity (calculated above) and dividing by total demand. However, solar and wind power are not included in reserve capacity because their operation is dependent on weather conditions, and thus they might not actually be producing electricity when needed during high-demand intervals.
Total Electricity Generated
Each power plant has an associated capacity factor, which refers to the ratio of electricity output over a period of time to potential output if a power plant were to operate at full installed capacity over the same period of time. We back-calculated the capacity factor for each type of energy source using Taiwan-specific data from the BOE that takes into account the installed capacity for each type of energy resource in Taiwan and the total GWH of electricity produced by each energy type. We then multiplied each resource’s installed capacity value by the capacity factor and the number of hours in a year (8760) to calculate the total electricity generated by each type of energy resource. We summed these values to calculate the approximate total electricity generated in Taiwan in 2025 according to the user inputs.
Carbon Emissions Change
For the purposes of this calculator, nuclear power and renewable energy resources are considered emission-less. Additionally, the installed capacity of oil in Taiwan is very small and expected to decline; thus, in calculating the change in carbon emissions from the electricity production sector we took into account changes in installed capacity of natural gas and coal. One kWH of natural gas produces .38 kg of CO2, and one KWH of coal produces .8 kg of CO2. Thus, we were able to calculate what increasing or decreasing the installed capacities of these two resources would translate to in terms of changes in CO2 emissions. If there is at least a 38,802 kilotons decrease, then we consider that on-track towards achieving GHG emission goals. 38,082 kilotons is the difference between current CO2 emissions from the energy sector and 2000 level CO2 emissions from the energy sector, according to the most recent available data.