Survey of Energy Resources 2007
OTEC Country Notes
The seas off eastern Taiwan are considered to be highly favourable for OTEC development. Following preliminary studies during the 1980s, three nearshore sites were selected and the steeply shelving east coast was thought to be able to accommodate an onshore OTEC plant. However, only one site (Chang-Yuan) was deemed suitable for further investigation by the Institute of Oceanography.
In 1989, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research in Hawaii prepared a development plan for the Taiwanese Multiple Product Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Project (MPOP). The intention of the MPOP was to construct a 5 MW closed cycle pilot plant for generating power and also the development of mariculture, desalinated water, air conditioning, refrigeration and agriculture. It was thought that the operating data obtained from the pilot plant could be used in the building of a 50-100 MW commercial plant. In 1993 it was assumed that 6 years would be required for site preparation and 5 years for construction, with the plant having a 25-year life cycle.
During the 1990s the concept of MPOP changed to a Master OTEC Plan for R.O.C. (MOPR), with the objective of ultimately establishing eight 400 MW floating OTEC power plants.
With its positive interest, Taiwan was the initiator, in 1989, of the International OTEC/DOWA Association (IOA). Until around 2004 a permanent Taiwanese secretariat worked to ensure a higher international profile for OTEC/DOWA but both the organisation and plans for OTEC within the country have, at present, somewhat stagnated.