U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Country Analysis Note
- Taiwan has very limited domestic energy resources and must rely on oil and coal imports to satisfy the majority of its energy demand. According to FACTS Global Energy, oil and coal made up 41% and 34% of Taiwan's total primary energy consumption in 2013, respectively, while the remainder was mostly natural gas, nuclear, and smaller amounts of various renewable energy sources.
- According to FACTS Global Energy, Taiwan consumed close to 1 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of total petroleum and other liquids in 2013. Taiwan has four refineries with a total crude distillation capacity of 1.2 million bbl/d which run mostly on imported crude oil. Taiwan imports about 85% of its crude oil from countries in the Persian Gulf and smaller portions from Angola and other countries, according to Taiwan's customs agency. Taiwan's CPC Corporation is in the process of closing its 205,000 bbl/d-Kaohsiung refinery by 2015, and Taiwan's refineries, which are all old and prone to accidents, face competition from more complex refining facilities coming online in the region, particularly in China. Taiwan also trades refined products, exporting mostly gasoline and middle distillates to Asia, while importing naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas to feed its refinery and petrochemical industry.
- Taiwan has small deposits of proved oil reserves of approximately 2.4 million barrels as of January 2014, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. Taiwan produced an average of 22,000 bbl/d of total oil in 2013, virtually all of which was refinery processing gains.
- Taiwan consumed about 72 million short tons of coal in 2012, all of which was imported. Coal consumption steadily increased overall since the 1990s and slowed after 2007 as a result of natural gas and renewables substituting some coal supply in the power sector.
- Taiwan produces a small amount of natural gas and imports nearly all of the natural gas it consumes (98%) in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Taiwan imported more than 600 billion cubic feet (Bcf/y) of LNG in 2013, making it the world's fifth-largest LNG importer, according to IHS Energy. Taiwan's key LNG suppliers are Qatar, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which accounted for 86% of gas imports in 2013, mostly sold through long-term contracts. China Petroleum Corporation (CPC), which is the only company that imports LNG for Taiwan, is set to continue diversifying gas supply within the next few years after the company signed long-term supply contracts with capacity owners of liquefaction projects in Australia, the United States, and Papua New Guinea.
- Taiwan's two existing regasification terminals, located in the central and southern parts of the island, have a capacity of 620 Bcf/y, with nearly 100 Bcf/y of expansion capacity under construction at one of the terminals. CPC and Taipower, Taiwan's state-owned petroleum and natural gas company power utility, respectively, are planning to construct a third terminal to serve the northern region near Taipei, which is reported to become operational by 2018.
- Taiwan and China's state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) are working together to explore for oil and natural gas in deepwater areas of the Strait of Taiwan after they experienced disappointing results with exploration in shallow water areas.
- Taiwan and China claim sovereignty over the same territory in the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands, Pratas Island, Paracel Islands, and the Scarborough Reef, using the historic "nine-dash line" established by Taiwan's Kuomintang government in 1947. Taiwan has refrained from aggressive tactics in laying their claims to resources in neighboring seas and instead is conducting joint exploration and development with Japan in the East China Sea.
- Taiwan's electricity generation, mostly fueled by fossil energy, has grown by 26% in the past decade from 199 terawatthours (Twh) to over 250 Twh in 2012, according to Taiwan's Bureau of Energy. Coal (49% share), natural gas (27% share), and nuclear power (16% share) make up the bulk of the island's generation mix. Taiwan's electricity policy is focusing on replacing older fossil fuel units with more efficient power plants and increasing its installed capacity and generation from renewable sources to diversify fuel sources. As a result, Taiwan passed the Renewable Energy Development Act in 2009 and a system for feed-in tariffs for solar and wind power, both which promote installation of electric generation capacity that is fueled by renewable energy sources.
- Taiwan currently has three nuclear plants with over 4.9 GW of capacity in operation, and nuclear power accounted for 16% of Taiwan's power generation in 2012, according to government estimates. The island's three existing plants are reaching retirement age and slated to be decommissioned starting in 2019. Although construction of Taiwan's fourth nuclear facility with a capacity of 2.7 GW was nearly complete and operations were scheduled to commence in 2015, public protests over safety concerns suspended construction of the facility in early 2014. The plant is currently undergoing safety inspections. Japan's Fukushima disaster in 2011 has tempered public sentiment towards nuclear power in Taiwan, causing the government to use more natural gas and renewable sources to feed power supply.
Analysis Last Updated: September 2014
Overview data for Taiwan+ EXPAND ALL
-- = Not applicable; NA = Not available; E = Estimate value
Sources: EIA. For more detailed data, see International Energy Statistics.
Data last updated: May 30, 2013
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