Energy consumption climbed 8.86 percent year-on-year in the first three months of the year to the equivalent of 30.27 million kiloliters of oil, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy says.
The quarterly increase was mainly because of a 15.9 percent growth in energy use by the nation’s industrial sector, thanks to capacity expansion by chemical material manufacturers and makers of computers, communications and audio-video electronics to meet increasing demands, the bureau said on its Web site over the weekend.
Last year, the nation’s energy consumption reached an equivalent of 114.66 million kiloliters of oil, up 4.4 percent from 2006, the bureau reported on March 6.
There were also quarterly increases among other sectors, including a 5.37 percent rise in the service sector, 5.7 percent growth in the household sector and a 2.76 percent addition in the agricultural sector from a year earlier, bureau statistics showed.
The transportation sector showed a decline of 3.33 percent over the same period, the bureau’s tallies showed.
The bureau attributed the consumption decline in the transportation sector to a 2.15 percent drop in gasoline use and a 3.6 percent reduction in diesel use in automobiles.
That would come as no surprise as new vehicle sales in Taiwan have been on a continual decline over the past two years, with motorists under the double pressure of higher oil prices and slower growth in disposable incomes.
Based on the statistics compiled by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, sales of new vehicles dropped 19.6 percent in the first quarter to 71,902 units from a year earlier, even though domestic pump prices of gasoline and diesel products have been unchanged since December by the former Democratic Progressive Party government in a bid to mitigate inflation concerns.
But gasoline and diesel use is likely to continue declining as the Cabinet announced last week it would end the freeze on fuel prices from next month to reflect international fuel costs.
Taiwan imported more than 99 percent of its energy needs from abroad, the Bureau of Energy said in the statement. Self-generated energy only accounted for 0.66 percent of the needs over the same period, it said.
By category, crude oil and other petroleum products took the lion’s share of overall energy supply, or 52.88 percent, in the first quarter, followed by a 29.87-percent share in coal products, 8.9 percent in nuclear power, 7.99 percent in natural gas (including liquefied natural gas) and 0.36 percent in hydraulic power and renewable energy, the bureau’s tallies showed.
The energy supply totalled an equivalent of 34.73 million kiloliters of oil in the first quarter, up 4.6 percent from a year earlier.
Crude oil imports rose 1.69 percent to 13.8 million kiloliters, liquefied natural gas purchases increasing 17.89 percent to 2.43 billion cubic meters and coal imports reducing 2.33 percent to 14.3 million tons, the bureau’s statistics showed.