Tue, Aug 19, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Renewable energy gets annual boost of NT$3bn

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Pushing forward the DPP administration's pledge to build a nuclear-free nation, the Executive Yuan yesterday announced that it will earmark NT$3 billion every year to develop renewable energy and boost the energy-conservation industry.

According to a press release made available by the Cabinet's Committee for the Establishment of a Nuclear Free Home, which met yesterday afternoon, the decision was part of the action plan mapped out by the committee yesterday in the wake of the anti-nuclear convention held in June.

At the conference, discussion topics included strategies to phase-out nuclear energy, the decommissioning of existing nuclear plants, the adoption of renewable energy and the disposal of nuclear waste. The experiences of the US, Japan and Sweden were also presented.

In addition to research and development funds, the committee yesterday decided to ease legislation regulating land acquisition for wind power plants to boost the development of renewable energy.

To encourage the public to make use of solar power, the committee decided to earmark NT$166 million next year to subsidize solar systems in the nation's townships and schools. The fund would also be made available to those families interested in using solar heating systems. The committee hopes to see the number of families using solar heat increase from the current 12,000 to 20,000.

The committee also planned to complete the draft measure regarding the power generated by nuclear power plants and the supervision of such facilities by the end of the year.

To strengthen its research projects on energy technology, the Energy Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs will also increase its annual budget of next year by 12.47 percent.

Government agencies responsible for executing energy policies will expand to include the Environmental Protection Administration, the Ministry of Transportation and the Communication and Council of Agriculture.

Currently, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of the Interior and National Science Council are responsible for implementing the government's energy policies.

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