Wed, Sep 17, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Green energy gets cash injection from Cabinet

FUNDS Eco-energy will get NT$3 billion a year from the Executive Yuan in an effort to have 10 percent of the nation's energy generated by renewable sources by 2010

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Starting next year, the Executive Yuan will earmark NT$3 billion every year to develop renewable energy and boost the energy-conservation industry in a bid to eventually phase out the nuclear power plants.

The Cabinet also plans to start the selection process of the final depository for low-grade radioactive waste this month.

The Cabinet is scheduled to approve the draft measure of the concrete action plan of the establishment of a nuclear-free nation (非核家園具體行動方案) today during the weekly closed-door Cabinet meeting.

According to Minister without Portfolio Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮), convener of the Cabinet's Council for the Promotion of a Nuclear-free Home, the action plan encompasses the 23 conclusions and consensus reached during the anti-nuclear convention held on June 27.

Topics discussed during the conference included strategies to phase-out nuclear energy, the decommissioning of nuclear plants, the adoption of renewable energy and the disposal of nuclear waste.

With the injection of NT$3 billion a year, Yeh said the Cabinet hopes to see 10 percent of the nation's power generated by renewable-energy sources by 2010 and 12 percent by 2020.

The Cabinet also hopes to see the annual production value of the clean-energy industry to increase from NT$1.5 billion to NT$10 billion.

In addition to the NT$3 billion annual funds, the draft set a deadline for governments to complete enacting or amending seven laws covering the issue by the end of the year. They include the Nuclear Power Law (原子能法), the Energy Management Law (能源管理法), the proposed law on the promotion of a nuclear-free home (非核家園推動法), the development decree of renewable energy (再生能源發展條例) and the decree regarding the final depository for low-grade radioactive waste (低放射性廢棄物最終處置設施場址選定條例).

In May, the Cabinet approved the draft bill of the promotion of a nuclear-free home which would ban the development of nuclear weapons, gradually phase out the use of nuclear power and develop renewable energy to meet future needs.

Last December, the Cabinet approved the draft decree regarding the final depository for low-grade radioactive waste, allowing the Cabinet to finalize a storage site within 69 months after the law takes effect.

The draft measure of the concrete action plan also seeks 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 draft stipulates that the Cabinet should earmark NT$166 million next year to subsidize solar-power systems in townships and schools. The fund would also be made available to those families interested in using solar-heating systems.

The Cabinet hopes to see the number of families using solar heat increase from the current 12,000 to 20,000.

The Energy Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs would also increase its annual budget for next year by 12.47 percent to strengthen its research projects on energy technology.

The draft action plan also mandates that government agencies responsible for executing energy policies would expand to include the Environmental Protection Administration, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Council of Agriculture.

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

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