Geothermal Update Report of Taiwan (2020)

Date and Time
October 19, 2020 12:00 PM (PDT)–01:00 PM (PDT)
Taiwan lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire on a convergent and compression boundary between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The collision of these plates results in frequent earthquake, structural complexity, and explains the presence of numerous volcanoes and hydrothermal areas. Largely as a result of these volcanic and tectonic activities, Taiwan has large reserves of geothermal energy. Estimates by Taiwanese scientists range up to 35,000 MWe across four geothermal zones (i.e., Hua-Tung, Lushan, Yilan, and Tatun Volcano). A series of geothermal exploration studies has been carried out in Taiwan since the 1960s. There has also been the development of two pilot geothermal power plants in the 1980s, with capacities of 280 kWe and 3 MWe. The former was decommissioned due to funding cut and the latter was abandoned due to decline in steam production in 1993. Since then, there have been no geothermal power plants in operation in Taiwan. Recently, there has been renewed interest in geothermal energy in Taiwan with the aim of developing renewable energy and reducing the dependence on imported fuels. There are currently 9 geothermal fields under exploration and/or development: Volcanic Field Type: Tatun Volcano Group (2.5 MWe) and Lutao (0.2 MWe; in development stage); Extensional Domain Type: Tuchang (2 MWe) and Chingshui (4.5 MWe; Binary systems of 300 kWe (in operation) and 1 MWe (in development); Orogenic Belt / Foreland Basin Type: Hongye (1.5 MWe), Lutao (0.2 MWe; in development stage), Zhiben (0.01 MWe; in operation), Jinlun (2.5 MWe), Jinfeng (9.98 MWe), and Ruisui (1 MWe; in development stage). The combined planned installed electrical capacity is approximately 24 MWe, with a total of 2.2 MWe in development stage, and only 0.31 MWe is in operation. Accordingly, the strategic plan of the Government of Taiwan aims at an installed capacity of more than 2,000 MWe of geothermal power by 2025.
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