Yuan-li Anti Turbine Movement

Restore Our Living Environment; Revoke the Permit, No Extensions Allowed; Ministry of Economic Affairs, Take Responsibility, Save Yuanli; Reject Backdoor Extensions

Event description

The Anti-Wind Turbine Protest in Yuanli is a significant chapter in Taiwan's development of renewable energy. Chen Hui-ming of the Self-Help Association emphasized that they were not against green energy construction but opposed the issue of wind turbines being placed too close to residential areas. In 2006, the Enercon Group proposed a plan to install 31 wind turbines in Zhu-nan, Tong-hsiao, and Yuan-li townships of Miaoli County, the number of turbines planned for Yuan-li was initially 9 and later increased to 14.

The Yuan-li Anti Turbine Self-Help Association was established on October 28, 2012. They conducted a petition in four affected neighborhoods, with over 4281 people expressing their opposition. Residents were concerned about the proximity of wind turbines to residential areas, as the international average safe distance is 470 to 700 meters, while Yuanli's wind turbines were only 60-250 meters away. They feared low-frequency noise causing "wind turbine syndrome" and demanded the formulation of relevant regulations for wind turbine placement.

Before these regulations were established, in April 2013, Enercon proceeded with construction. Local residents and supporting individuals chained themselves together to block the project. However, the Miaoli police did not use the common "Assembly and Parade Act" applicable to protests but directly charged the protesters with "offenses of threat" where thirty-four people were prosecuted, leading to pro bono lawyers assisting in their defense, marking a crucial experience in Taiwan's environmental movement.

On February 25, 2016, 20 main participants were acquitted in the second trial. Some members of the Self-Help Association, after achieving interim results in the protest, went on to establish the organization "Yuan-li Unleashes the Sea Breeze," continuing to promote environmental protection, agriculture, traditional local reed weaving, and related community work, in alignment with local revitalization policies.


Enercon and the residents of Yuan-li reached an agreement, leading to the termination of two wind turbines placed too close to residences. As the installation of wind turbines for wind power generation continued, regulations evolved. Currently, the regulation stipulates that in the case where "the straight-line distance from the center of any wind turbine base to the nearest building (referring to other buildings with a usage permit or address number when developers applied for a permit for wind power development projects to the competent authority) must be within 500 meters," an environmental impact assessment will then be required.

On February 25, 2016, all 20 main participants were acquitted.

In 2022, Liu Yu-yu, a participant in the movement, was elected as the mayor of Yuan-li Township.

Participating Organizations

Reference books