Energy management regulation submitted to Cabinet

Staff writer, with CNA

Thu, Aug 23, 2012 - Page 14

A new regulation on energy development and management is expected to be implemented as part of the government’s efforts to achieve sustainable development, a Ministry of Economic Affairs official said yesterday.

The Energy Development Framework, which has been sent to the Cabinet for approval, is likely to take effect by the end of the year, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) told reporters, adding that more specific guidelines will be introduced in early next year.

“We’d like more enterprises to conserve energy and reduce their carbon emissions in a bid to create a sustainable environment,” Shih said.

QUOTA

He said that under the regulation, the ministry will set a quota for the country’s total energy supply based on what he termed “reasonable demand,” and arrive at estimates for short and long-term capacities in different areas.

If the regulation takes effect, investors will be obliged to obtain permission for any large-scale project entailing consumption of about 200 million kilowatt-hours or more a year, according to the ministry.

NOT THAT NEW

“In fact, we have already been doing this for some years, just not in written form,” Shih said.

In addition, the government will continue to promote energy efficiency, especially for high energy-consuming industries such as the cement, papermaking, steel and iron sectors.

A seminar will be held in Taipei today to explain the regulation, with another one to be held in Greater Kaohsiung tomorrow, in Greater Taichung on Tuesday and in Hualien on Wednesday, the ministry said.

CLOSED-DOOR MEETING

The ministry’s draft regulation on energy development came after high-ranking Cabinet officials met with industry representatives during a closed-door meeting on Saturday last week to exchange views on how to develop renewable energy and decrease Taiwan’s reliance on imported energy.

Since 99 percent of Taiwan’s energy supply is imported and individual power consumption is high, Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) said on Saturday in a speech at the Executive Yuan that Taiwan needs to come up with a comprehensive contingency plan.

While the Ministry of Finance has been considering imposing an energy tax to address overall concerns about the nation’s environmental sustainability, low-carbon targets, energy development policies and tax revenue, the government has not yet decided whether to levy such a tax.