Mon, Jun 15, 2009 - Page 12 News List

New law set to stimulate green energy industry

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Taiwan’s green energy industry is poised to boom after a statute aimed at promoting renewable energy development cleared the legislative floor last week, a Ministry of Economic Affairs official said yesterday.

Yeh Hui-ching (葉惠青), director of the ministry’s Bureau of Energy, said passage of the Act Governing Development of Renewable Energy (再生能源發展條例) has formally ushered Taiwan into an era of alternative energy development and related applications.

“It means that the development and application of renewable, low-pollution sources of energy that produce low amounts of carbon-dioxide emissions will be given priority in terms of low-carbon energy development in the country,” Yeh said during a ceremony marking the establishment of the Taipei-based Chinese Alternative Energy Association (中華替代能源協會).

The passage of the Act represents the beginning of a partnership between the energy sector and environmental conservation, he said.

The Act provides a legal framework that will encourage investment in renewable energy production and offer incentives to local consumers to install equipment based on renewable energy. The government will provide incentives such as purchase subsidies and low-interest loans to increase the country’s renewable energy generation capacity to between 6.5 million kilowatts and 10 million kilowatts.

Yeh said it was hoped that these and other incentives would boost the development of the local solar, wind, biomass and other green sectors.

In line with the spirit of the Act, he said, the Executive Yuan has also required that 10 percent of the funding for public construction projects under the government’s public works stimulus package be set aside for the development of renewable energy or energy-saving efforts.

“These plans will in turn form the foundation of green business in the country,” he added.

In addition to permitting the state-run Taiwan Power Co (台電) to buy electricity generated by private renewable energy investors, the Act allows the government to offer other incentives to speed up the development of renewable energy technologies making use of solar photovoltaic energy, solar thermal energy, wind power and biomass energy.

Of these sectors, the solar energy sector will hopefully become the country’s next NT$1 trillion (US$30 billion) industrial sector and result in Taiwan becoming a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic energy equipment, said National Taiwan University president Lee Si-chen (李嗣涔), who is the convener of a national energy development project authorized by the National Science Council.

“The government’s target is quite clear that the installation capacity of renewable energy should account for 15 percent of the country’s total power installation capacity by 2025, with its power generation capacity projected to increase to 8 percent of the total power supply in Taiwan,” Lee said.

Meanwhile, Tsai Chin-yao (蔡進耀), chairman of the Solar Photovoltaic Energy Development Committee under the non-profit organization Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International Taiwan, forecast that the statute would spark investment of NT$30 billion in Taiwan’s renewable energy sector within one year.

The investment could create up to 10,000 jobs and generate NT$100 billion in revenues in one to two years, he said.

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