Taiwan Greets German Gas Hydrates Research Ship

Focus Taiwan
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
R/V Sonne: Photo courtesy of Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Observation

The research ship 'Sonne' has arrived in Kaohsiung to help Taiwan scientists explore for gas hydrates off the country's SW coast.

The research ship docked at the Port of Kaohsiung, where local experts led by National Taiwan University oceanography professor Saulwood Lin and researchers from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Germany shared ideas on the potential energy source, reports Focus Taiwan.

Interest in this new energy source comes at a time when Taiwan is debating its energy future, especially amid mounting demands for the abolition of nuclear power, which currently provides nearly 20 percent of Taiwan's electricity.

Gas hydrates are a frozen mixture of methane -- a natural gas -- and water, which are usually found in frozen soil in the Arctic or on the continental slope. Natural gas hydrates are seen as a potentially important energy source in this century.

Studies have pointed to the possibility of widespread gas hydrate reserves in waters off Taiwan's southwestern coast, enough to supply Taiwan for over 50 years.

Source: Focus Taiwan

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