> Home Page > Latest News > Politics and Economy > Industry > Energy



As introduced by the Yearbook of the Republic of China:


Taiwan has insufficient natural energy resources to meet its needs. Its coal reserves amount to only 98 million tons, and its oil and natural gas reserves, only total 0.4 million tons and 2,400 billion cubic feet, respectively. Total hydropower reserves have been estimated at 5,047 megawatts (MW), of which 1,973 megawatts have been developed.


The total energy supply in Taiwan increased from 31.78 million kiloliters of oil equivalent in 1982 to 113.23 million kiloliters in 2002, with an average annual growth of 6.6 percent. Domestic production declined from 14 percent in 1982 to 2 percent in 2002. Oil's share of Taiwan's energy supply decreased from 64 percent in 1982 to 49 percent in 2002, while that of coal increased from 18 percent to 33 percent. Natural gas rose from 4 percent to 8 percent (including liquefied natural gas). Hydro power fell from 4 percent to 1 percent; nuclear power dropped from 10 percent to 9 percent.

Expenditures for imported energy totaled US$11.57 billion in 2002, of which imported oil accounted for 73.9 percent, or US$8.56 billion. Imported energy accounted for 10.2 percent of the total value of imports in 2002 and 4.1 percent of GDP, with an average per capita spending of US$512.3 for energy imports.


Taiwan's annual energy consumption increased from 28.98 million kiloliters of oil equivalent in 1982 to 100.06 million kiloliters in 2002, marking an average growth rate of 6.4 percent per year. By comparison, GDP grew by an average of 6.7 percent during the same period, with an energy demand elasticity of about 0.96. Per capita energy consumption increased from 1,584 liters of oil equivalent in 1982 to 4,468 liters in 2002, an annual growth rate of 5.1 percent.

Over the past 20 years, the industrial sector has been the greatest energy consumer; however, its share of total energy consumption dropped from 62 percent in 1982 to 58 percent in 2002. For that same time period, energy consumption for transportation increased from 13 percent to 15 percent; for agriculture, it declined from 3 percent to 2 percent; for residential use, it increased from 11 percent to 12 percent; for commercial use, it increased from 2 percent to 6 percent; and for other sectors, it declined from 7 percent to 6 percent. Non-energy use remained at 2 percent.


Taiwan is heavily dependent on imported oil. In 2002, approximately 73 percent of Taiwan's imported crude oil came from the Middle East, and 27 percent came from other areas. Consumption of petroleum products totaled 44.12 million kiloliters of oil equivalent in 2002.

The state-run Chinese Petroleum Corporation (CPC) conducts exploring, producing, importing, refining, and marketing petroleum in Taiwan. The Petroleum Administration Act ????? was promulgated on October 11, 2001. By the end of December 2001, Taiwan had completely opened up its markets for all petroleum product imports.

The CPC operates three oil refinery plants with a total refining capacity of 770,000 barrels per day. In addition, the private Formosa Petrochemical Co. started operating one oil refinery with a refining capacity of 450,000 barrels per day, bringing Taiwan's total refining capacity to 1.22 million barrels per day.

Natural Gas

In view of the limited natural gas reserves in the Taiwan area, the CPC began importing liquid natural gas (LNG) from Southeast Asia in 1990. The CPC's Yong-an LNG Receiving Terminal located in southern Taiwan can currently handle 7.87 million tons of LNG per year.

In 2002, the total natural gas supply in Taiwan was 7.89 billion cubic meters, of which only 0.89 billion cubic meters (11 percent) were indigenously produced. The remaining 7 billion cubic meters were imported, accounting for 89 percent of the total. Of the imported LNG, 60 percent came from Indonesia and 40 percent came from Malaysia. Natural gas consumption in 2002 totaled 7.89 billion cubic meters.


Coal production in Taiwan totaled more than 5 million metric tons annually from 1964 to 1968. Thereafter, production tapered off due to increasing competition from imported coal and spiraling local production costs resulting from increasingly difficult mining conditions. On January 9, 2001, the government rescinded rules protecting local coal production, prompting the last coal mine in Taiwan to close its doors that same month.

In 2002, Taiwan imported 51.95 million metric tons of coal, mainly from Australia, China, and Indonesia. Total coal consumption reached 50.60 million tons in 2002.


The Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) is entrusted with the development, generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric power in the Taiwan area. Under government policy, however, industrial plants operated by private corporations have been encouraged to develop cogeneration systems and to sell their surplus power to Taipower.

In order to maintain a stable electricity supply, the MOEA has promoted the opening of the market to independent power producers (IPPs) in three stages and has permitted foreign investors to own up to 100 percent of an IPP.

In 2002, total power generation in the Taiwan area was 198.8 TWh (terawatt-hours), a 5.4 percent increase from 2001. Of this total, Taipower supplied 141.7 TWh, IPPs contributed 22.5 TWh, and cogeneration contributed another 34.7 TWh. The generation structure of Taipower was as follows: 4 percent was generated by hydropower, 42 percent by coal, 11 percent by oil, 14 percent by natural gas, and 28 percent by nuclear power. Electricity consumption in 2002 rose to 185.6 TWh, up 5.5 percent over the preceding year.

By the end of 2002, Taipower had 72 power plants, including 41 hydropower plants, 27 thermal plants, 3 nuclear power plants, and 1 wind power facility. Taipower's installed capacity totaled 27,301 MW, of which 16 percent was from hydropower, 30 percent was coal, 22 percent was natural gas, 13 percent was oil, and 19 percent was nuclear power. The installed capacity of cogeneration systems was 6,171 MW, and IPPs supplied 4,600 MW. The total installed capacity of the Taiwan area reached 38,081 MW in 2002, a 7.2 percent increase from 2001.

With the continuous growth of the domestic economy, the peak load in 2002 reached 27,117 MW, up 3.1 percent over 2001. The average load was 18,939 MW, a 4.9 percent increase compared with the previous year.

Nuclear Power

Taiwan's six nuclear power units provided 13.5 percent of the island's total installed capacity, but produced 19.9 percent of Taiwan's total electrical power in 2002. The six nuclear units are housed in three nuclear power stations, all of which are owned and operated by Taipower. With increasing demands for electricity, especially for industrial use, the government began plans to construct a fourth nuclear power station in 1980. Construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant has remained a political dispute, however, and the Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan signed an agreement on February 13, 2001 with the ultimate goal of creating a nuclear-free homeland.

Renewable Energy Sources

Taiwan has great potential for developing solar energy resources. By the end of 2002, Taiwan had 1.14 million square meters of installed solar heat collectors. The total capacity of photovoltaic demonstration systems that has been approved for subsidization in Taiwan is 530 KW. For wind power demonstration systems, the total capacity that has been approved for subsidization is 8.54 MW. At the end of 2002, the accumulated capacity of hydropower was around 166 MW, and for biogas power generation, the total capacity was around 23 MW.