Mon, Nov 13, 2017 - Page 8 News List

Is Taiwan on the cusp of a ‘green’ revolution?

With a unique industrial development plan centered on alternative energy sources, the nation is set for the new energy era

By Justin Chou and John Mathews  /  Contributing reporters

Meanwhile, in a bid to promote innovation in the power sector, moves are underway to further liberalize the market by reducing the monopoly control of Taipower, with its legacy of nuclear power and fossil fuels.

Taiwan has also attracted support from foreign alternative energy source companies, notably the Danish giant Dong Energy — which last month renamed itself Orsted — has as partner in the new Formosa I wind farm project.

CHALLENGES

But concerns over the future of nuclear power in Taiwan remain. A major power outage in August, caused by malfunction of a gas supply valve in a gas-fueled power generator, prompted widespread debate, recriminations and calls for the restart of nuclear reactors.

Both the Minister for Economic Affairs Lee Chih-kung (李世光) and the Chairman of the gas supply company CPC Corp Chen Chin-te (陳金德) resigned taking symbolic responsibility for the disastrous incident.

While there is a strong popular green movement in Taiwan, the short-term economic constraint from increasing electricity prices and unstable grid service will require more advocacy from local citizens to make the goal of a “green” economy a feasible one.

Taiwan thus presents a fascinating case of the global energy revolution that is underway, where the commitment to move to a “green” power system is reinforced by a political shift. The government is strengthening this industrial strategy by building innovative industries for the future.

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