Taiwan's Penghu County Government and Cornwall Council in the U.K. signed an agreement to jointly promote and develop smart grids, renewable energy and related technologies.

The agreement, which is expected to save energy, cut costs and decarbonize the economy, requires the local governments to work together in developing industry standards, power distribution networks, energy storage, R&D and bilateral industry alliance tie-ups.

Yeh Kuo-ching, Penghu's public works department director, says smart grids are playing a key role in Taiwan's sustainable development as they significantly increase power efficiency and cut usage.

The low carbon island project involves transforming Penghu into a green energy mecca. A key component of the plan is a public-private sector venture calling for 56% of the county's energy needs to be derived from renewable sources. Wind farms capable of generating 96 MW per year are to be constructed by 2015, with plans to boost this to 124 MW. And offshore generating facilities may be built if demand rises.

David Campbell, British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei director, says implementation of smart grids in the U.K. will generate more than $20.77 billion in economic benefits. “As Taiwan is a global technological leader, we are keen to develop further joint links and realize these business opportunities,” he said.

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