Wed, Apr 08, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Delta chief lashes out at slow action on green tech bills

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

The chairman of a leading electronics company yesterday accused the government of dragging its feet in pushing bills to promote innovative green technology.

“Why is it that policies related to the development of renewable energy, natural resource management, energy taxation and carbon dioxide reduction have been under discussion forever? Meanwhile, gambling bills took no time to pass at the Legislative Yuan,” Bruce Cheng (鄭崇華), founder and chairman of Delta Electronics Inc (台達電子), said at an IBM forum in Taipei.

“Taiwan cannot build its future on gambling. We have to transform the country from an information technology center into an energy technology center ... That is the way of the future,” Cheng said.

In response, Minister of Economic Affairs Yiin Chii-ming (尹啟銘) said he could not comment on any issue that is currently under review in the legislature.

However, Yiin said he agreed with Cheng that with the global economic downturn, the time was ripe for the government to push green technology.

“For the next four years, the government has a NT$500 billion [US$14.82 billion] stimulus package with 10 percent of the budget allocated to green technology,” Yiin told the audience.

Cheng criticized the government’s energy policy, saying he found it hard to understand how Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) was able to buy electricity for as little as NT$1.70 (US$0.05) per kilowatt hour (kwh).

In Germany, utility companies buy solar-generated electricity at about 0.38 euro (NT$17) per kwh, he said.

“At NT$1.70 per kwh, what is the incentive for Taipower to purchase solar or wind-generated power” from other independent power producers? Cheng asked.

Yiin did not answer the question directly, but said that “if Taipower were to buy electricity at say, NT$17 per kwh, it would go bankrupt.”

Cheng said that the ministry should allow state-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) to gradually revert back to letting market mechanisms determine domestic oil prices rather than continue selling gasoline and diesel at below-market prices and absorbing the losses.

Once oil prices become unbearable, the public would find ways to save money such as taking mass transportation, driving less, or looking into alternative energy vehicles, he said.

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