Resilient Taitung

To continue promoting renewable energy, on April 18th, Taitung County Magistrate April Yao led township mayors and a county government team to conduct an on-site inspection of the small hydropower facilities at Lijia Water Purification Plant and Guanshan Canal. The goal of the trip was to understand how small hydropower plants operate in different environments, with a focus on how to coexist more efficiently and harmoniously with the natural environment. The ultimate aim is to promote green energy in a manner that is best suited for the whole county, achieving environmental sustainability and advancing Taitung towards becoming a resilient green energy city committed to sustainable development.

Resilient Taitung (2)

The Lijia Water Purification Plant, implemented by the Taiwan Water Corporation, is Taiwan’s first operational power-generating purification plant. It generates electricity by utilizing the height difference between the source intake from the Lijia River and the  plant’s own intake. With an installed capacity of 130 kW, it produces approximately 680,000 kWh annually, enough to power around 200 households and reduce carbon emissions by about 336 tons per year. After electricity generation, the water continues through the treatment process to become household tap water, maximizing water resource utilization.

Resilient Taitung (3)

Additionally, the Guanshan Canal, an irrigation channel, uses the water level difference between the sedimentation tank and the hydropower plant intake to generate electricity. Managed by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Irrigation Agency, it has an installed capacity of 1,000 kW and generates about 4 million kWh annually, which can supply electricity to 1,100–2,000 households in nearby areas such as Guanshan, Luye, and Chishang for the whole year. The tailwater from the power generation process returns entirely to the canal, providing agricultural irrigation water for the downstream Guanshan Township, thereby achieving multiple benefits by serving both agricultural use and power generation.

To actively leverage Taitung’s unique environmental features for developing renewable energy, Magistrate April Yao led a county government team and nine township mayors on a study tour to Switzerland and Austria at the end of April 2024. They examined small hydropower plants and energy companies to gain a deeper understanding of their operational principles and technical characteristics. In Switzerland and Austria, 42% and 66% of electricity, respectively, comes from hydropower. Both countries adopt localized approaches, enhancing power generation efficiency while ensuring environmental conservation,, providing valuable lessons for Taitung.

Taitung County boasts abundant natural resources, with plentiful sunshine ideal for solar energy development and rich geothermal resources, making it a county with significant green energy development potential. The Taitung County Government established the Taitung Green Energy Promotion Office to promote renewable energy and sustainable urban development. This office assists residents with administrative services related to green energy applications. The county government is committed to continuing its promotion of green energy, effectively utilizing the natural environment and resources to develop renewable energy. The goal is to transform Taitung into an environmentally friendly, ecologically rich, and socially harmonious green resilient city.