News

Taiwan Geothermal Association on the geothermal potential of Taiwan

Beitou hot spring, Taipei, Taiwan (source: flickr/ Wunkai, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 1 Oct 2019

The Geothermal Association of Taiwan is looking to cooperate with international geothermal companies on exploration, drilling and evaluation and more in order to help develop the geothermal energy resources in Taiwan.

Earlier this month, I met with the Chair of the Taiwan Geothermal Association, Prof. Chao-Shing Lee at the GRC Annual Meeting. At the event he shared this document by his association aimed at gathering interest

Taiwan is located in the middle of “Pacific Fire Ring”. It is one of the most active tectonic belts between the Eurasia and Philippine plates (Fig. 1); it has more than 30,000 earthquakes/year. Many submarine volcanoes and faults are situated between the plate boundaries. It has a highest mountain uplifting in the World, ~ 4-5 cm/year.

Annually, it produce 3 m of rainfall. The country has a total of 4,000 hot spring operators. Because of the active tectonics and abundant water supply, it is, therefore, a good potential area for Geothermal Energy. Through the government initiations, many geothermal scientists in Taiwan have joined the efforts to conduct two phases of National Energy Program in the last 10 years.

Many results have come up to improve the potential of using the Geothermal Energy as one of the Green Energy (together with the Offshore Windmill, Solar Energy, Bio Energy, and Ocean Dynamics). The potential for Geothermal Power Generation is more than 32 GWe within 2-3 km shallow geothermal reservoirs. Nine high temperature gradient areas (Fig. 2) and their quick summary for the Geothermal Energy in Taiwan are:

  1. The potential for Geothermal Power Generation is more than 32 GWe which is bigger than the total need of our electricity used in Taiwan (27 GWe)..
  2. Both the volcanoes, submarine volcanoes, earthquakes and faults in Taiwan are the major source and the migration routes for Geothermal Energy. It is estimated that we should be able to provide 20% of our electricity need (~5.4 GWe) in 10 years, if we promote in a right way.
  3. The development of EGS is a goal, however, at the present time, we need to explore, establish, and experience the 2-3 km’s Geothermal Reservoir first and look into the future EGS.
  4. The private investors will be more active and accessible to get into the development of Geothermal Energy.
  5. A cooperation among the Government to reduce the risks, the University to train the young engineers, and the Private Sectors to invest the needed funds are the best model for Energy..
  6. A special regulation for Geothermal Development will be needed, as those in the Philippine.
  7. To modify the “restrictions of National Park” will be a good help to develop the Ta-Tun Volcanic region (I in Fig. 2).
  8. The Development of I-Lan and Jin-Fong regions (II and VI in Fig. 2) can be considered as the heavy power-generation-type Geothermal Prospects.
  9. There are hot springs in the Central and Coast mountain areas (III, IV, V, VII and VIII in Fig. 2). These will be considered as the development for aborigine-special-type Geothermal Prospects.
  10. Part of Ta-Tun and I-Lan (I and II in Fig. 2) will also be developed as the medical health-care type Geothermal areas.
  11. Close to the N and NE offshore areas (Part of I in Fig. 2) will be developed as the offshore Geothermal Energy relate to the submarine volcanoes.
  12. The development of Hsin-Chu (IX in Fig. 2) will be a good potential for Direct-Use of Geothermal Energy into the Semiconductor Industrial zones.

The Taiwan Geothermal Association would like to cooperate with the geothermal companies on:

  1. New and Unique technology in Exploration, Drilling, and Evaluation,
  2. Geothermal Reservoir Modelling and management,
  3. Treatment for Acid Water Geochemistry,
  4. New and Effective Power Generators
  5. Power Plant establishment and maintenance.

Who to connect with?

  • CS Lee (leecs@mail.ntou.edu.tw)
  • CC Chang (ccchang@mail.ntou.edu.tw)
  • SC Wang (singerproncku@gmail.com)
  • C Chen (jerry20340@gmail.com)
  • SY Hsu (sonyahsu0114@gmail.com)

Source: Taiwan Geothermal Association