Drilling started for Sanxing geothermal project in Taiwan

Rice fields in Sanxing township, Yalin County, Taiwan (source: flickr/ Ken Marshall, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 3 Aug 2016

Local news report that drilling has started for the Sanxing geothermal project in Yalin county in Taiwan. A key new pilot project for geothermal development in the country.

The local government of Yilan began exploratory drilling today in Sanxing Township for what it hopes will be Taiwan’s first geothermal power plant, CNA reported. The drilling stage is expected to take six months to complete.

With a decisive move away from nuclear power to renewables, Taiwan is exploring geothermal as on of the key option for its energy future.

A geothermal plant was developed in Datong Township in Yilan in the 1980s, but the project closed in 1993. Talks of exploring geothermal energy resurfaced in 2014 and the possibility was touted by the DPP.  Researchers estimate a geothermal power generation potential of around 30,000 MW, which sounds a bit too much given the size of the country.

The resource at Sanxing in a forest area in Yilan county, is estimated to be 150 centigrades sufficient for a binary power plant and could become the country’s first geothermal demonstration plant.

The project is developed by CNPC, National Taiwan University, Industrial Technology Research Institute, and is supported by the Ministry of Science and the National Energy Technology Plan.

The ceremony celebrating the start of the project was attended by local and national dignitaries.

It is hoped that this project will be the start of further geothermal development and receive the support by the government for more in-depth, extensive research, and the establishment of geothermal favourability maps. This in turn could help attract investors and suppliers to develop projects in the region.

During the ceremony, the opportunities in geothermal energy utilisation beyond power generation, e.g. in agriculture and tourism was highlighted.


Source: Total Taipei, CNA