Taiwan should promote the wider adoption of a technology that displays on demand the amount of electricity being used, the Institute for Information Industry (III, 資策會) said yesterday.
The idea was put forward at the first of two seminars being held by the institute to promote energy information and communications technology.
Use of the energy-efficient technology gives energy suppliers and users an instant indication of how much energy has been consumed, Feng Ming-whei (馮明惠), -director-general of the III’s Smart Network System Institute, said at the Taipei seminar.
Feng said the technology could enhance energy conservation and reduce carbon emissions nationwide, in line with global trends.
For example, use of the technology enabled the US to cut 53.06 megawatts, about 3 percent of its energy consumption during peak periods, she said.
Ray Chen (陳文瑞), director of the III’s Smart Network System Institute, said Taiwan had competitive strengths in the information and communications technology sector and it was a good time “to invest more in this field.”
Taiwan invests about NT$2 billion (US$66.66 million) in related technology each year, while global investment in the sector is expected to total US$38.1 billion this year, he said on the sidelines of the seminar.
Although the payoff period for an investment in this technology tends to be longer than that for consumer electronics, it was still worthwhile, Chen said.
“Taiwan has fallen behind many advanced countries [in investment in the field], but it is not too late to catch up,” he said.
Chen Shi-lin (陳士麟), an electrical engineering professor at Chung Yuan Christian University, also backed further investment in the field, saying that more extensive use of energy saving technology could be crucial in resolving the potential energy shortage the country faces as it moves toward the goal of becoming a “nuclear-free homeland.”
Since the government has decided not to extend the life of the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Shimen District (石門), New Taipei City (新北市) beyond 2019, the country faces a potential energy shortage, Chen said, noting that nuclear power currently accounts for 20 percent of the nation’s electricity output.
The technology has the potential to minimize that problem, he said. The second III seminar will be held in Kaohsiung on Thursday next week.