Mon, Aug 06, 2018 - Page 15 News List

Renewable energy 2030 goal urged

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan should introduce more policies to accelerate and scale up its energy transition, with the goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, Hans-Josef Fell, founder and president of the Berlin-based Energy Watch Group, said on Thursday.

“Transitioning to 100 percent renewable is not a far-away target. It is the main strategy in many nations,” Fell said in a keynote speech at an international forum on new energy in Taipei.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has promised to decommission Taiwan’s three operating nuclear power plants — which generate 9.3 percent of the nation’s electricity — by 2025 and switch to a mix of 50 percent liquefied natural gas, 30 percent coal and 20 percent from sources of renewable energy, which currently accounts for 4.9 percent of supplies.

The German experience indicates there are ways to accelerate the transition, Fell said.

When Germany enacted its Renewable Energy Sources Act in 2000, the share of electricity from renewable sources was about 6 percent, he said.

Fell coauthored the draft version of the bill when he was a member of the German parliamentary group Alliance 90/The Greens.

Germany surpassed a statutory target to double the share of renewable energy by 2010, Fell said.

“Now renewable energy is cheap and goes faster. If this doubling goes on, we will have 100 [percent] renewable energy by 2030 in Germany. It’s possible. I believe it will come,” he said.

Aiming at 100 percent renewable energy is not just possible, but necessary, because the Earth’s atmosphere has already been overloaded with greenhouses gases, including emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, the main component of natural gas, he said.

“Natural gas is polluting the climate, as well as coal and oil,” he said. “We have to go to a zero-emissions economy using 100 percent renewables and avoid the use of mineral oil, natural gas and coal.”

Taiwan should phase out all subsidies for fossil fuels and the nuclear energy industry, use different policy instruments to direct private investment into renewable energy, introduce a carbon tax and adopt a feed-in tariff policy, he said.

Diversifying sources of renewable energy is important to balance fluctuating power supply based on solar and wind power, he said.

Taiwan could learn from the technology developed by German engineers that transforms biowaste into biocoal as an energy source, he said.

The best option for a nation to give impetus to economic development is to use all its assets to develop renewable energy, Fell said.

As it transitions to new energy, Taiwan could achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, he said.

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