Thu, Aug 24, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Pursue renewable energy

By Michael Reilly

I read with interest the recent article ("Blowing in the wind," Aug. 20, page 17) setting out the future development of wind power in Taiwan. Many of the issues raised were similar to those we have faced in the UK, where we recently published an Energy Review with the aim of tackling both climate change and energy security.

These are equally, if not more important for Taiwan, given its lack of local energy resources and the indiscriminate nature of the impact of climate change. The review set out a number of conclusions and the need for a number of parallel approaches, tackling both electricity generation and energy efficiency.

The UK government has set a target of 10 percent of electricity being generated from renewable sources by 2010, up from the 4 percent at present. This would make the UK one of Europe's leading generators of renewable energy. This target is an integral part of the UK government's aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent by 2050.

As noted in your article, administrative uncertainty is a significant barrier to further progress. In the UK, planning regulations are being reviewed to reduce the delays and uncertainties that energy projects face. Cost issues also exist but carbon-pricing mechanisms have helped to make renewable energy sources more economically attractive. Such mechanisms help to ensure that targets on greenhouse gas emissions are met in the most efficient, lowest-cost manner.

Along with Taiwan's Bureau of Energy, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Industrial Technology Research Institute, we are holding a Renewable Energy Seminar on Nov. 30. This is a good opportunity for both Taiwan and the UK to exchange views and discuss how we can co-operate on the forthcoming projects in Taiwan.

I encourage Taiwan to continue to pursue its goals on renewable energy sources. This will require commitment and innovation from both central and local governments. It will also require the support of legislators and the general public. Awareness of the need to tackle climate change grows everyday; governments need to work together with industry and the public to identify win-win ways of tackling these important issues.

Michael Reilly,

Director-General, British Trade and Culture Office

Taipei

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