Taiwan-Idaho Green Energy Cooperation
The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ endeavor in the promotion of industrial cooperation between Taiwan and the United States has reaped another sweet fruit. Following attracting Applied Materials, the largest manufacturer of display and semiconductor equipment in the world, to set up a R&D lab in Taiwan, the ministry and the State of Idaho signed on April 24, 2013 a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the industrial cooperation in green energy. The MOU was inked by Director General Jong-Chin Shen of the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), and Commerce Secretary Jeffery Sayer of Idaho, witnessed by Minister of Economic Affairs Chia-Juch Chang and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter of Idaho. The signing unfolds a new chapter in the promotion of industrial cooperation by the two governments in green energy.
According to the MOU, Taiwan’s Industrial Development Bureau, the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), National Taipei University of Technology, Kavalan Qing Shui (Geothermal Power) Co., Ltd., CPC Corporation, Taiwan, YFY Inc., Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd., Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Ltd., and TECO Electric & Machinery Co. Ltd., will work with Idaho’s Department of Commerce, Idaho National Laboratory, Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), U.S. Geothermal Inc., and Power Engineers Inc. to develop modules and related systems for geothermal power generation. The alliance also aims to expand into geothermal market in Southeast Asia and even the global market.
Idaho Positioned to work Closely with Taiwan
Governor Otter of Idaho said in the signing ceremony that the United States tops the world in geothermal power generation, accounting for 32% of the world’s capacity. Idaho set up the first power generation system in the U.S. in as early as 1892. As of today, Idaho has geothermal power capacity of 855 megawatts (MWs), and is expected to hit 1,670 MWs by 2025. The booming geothermal industry in Idaho has a world-renowned research institute in green energy—the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES). Therefore, Idaho is in a good position to work closely with Taiwan in the equipment manufacturing, geothermal utilization, and power plant operation.
A Win-Win Situation: U.S. and Taiwan are Complementary in their Industry Chains
Minister Chang of MOEA said that Taiwan and the United States will be able to create a win-win situation through industrial collaboration as the two nations are complementary in their industrial chains. Idaho is the pioneer in the development of geothermal resources and has a good wealth of technology and experiences. On the other hand, in addition to very rich geothermal resources, Taiwan has strong manufacturing base, evidently shown in the clusters of electronic and machinery industries. Not only will the geothermal cooperation help Taiwan hammer out an industrial chain by integrating drilling, electromechanical, and system companies, but it also furnish both sides opportunities to expand into the power generation equipment utilizing industrial waste/surplus heat and solar heat.
Green Energy Supply Chain Cooperation: Ready, Set, Go
The Government of Yilan County has recently handed over a site in Qing Shui district to Kavalan Qing Shui (Geothermal Power) Co., Ltd. after signing a contract with it to build Taiwan’s first geothermal power plant, which is set to commence production in one year with a capacity of 1 megawatt (MW). CPC Corporation, Taiwan is well experienced in geothermal drilling. The Industrial Technology Research Institute has developed a commercialized turbine with a capacity of 50 kilowatts (KWs). Effion Enertech Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of YFY Inc., is planning to tap into the geothermal generation business and use related technologies in the recycling of waste heat. Having a campus in Wanli District with rich geothermal resources, the National Taipei University of Technology wishes to develop the resources in cooperation with U.S. geothermal companies. Furthermore, Taiwan’s Tang Eng Iron Works Co., Ltd., Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Ltd., and TECO Electric & Machinery Co. Ltd., with their competence in the manufacture of generators and other equipment, are all join the chorus. The signing of the MOU today is not only the first time that the two nations work together to build the most competitive supply chains in green energy. It also provides Taiwan’s electromechanical industry with an opportunity for cross-disciplinary integration. The alliance will have a chance to form a new “golden triangle” and charge into the Southeast Asian geothermal market estimated to top US$45 billion a year. The innovative Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is set to stimulate a closer collaboration between Taiwan and the United States.